Auditory Skills Checklist: clinical tool for monitoring functional auditory skill development in young children with cochlear implants
OBJECTIVES: The Auditory Skills Checklist (ASC) was developed to address the need for tools to evaluate functional auditory skill progress in very young children with sensorineural hearing loss. We describe the development, validation, and utility of the ASC for use in young children with cochlear implants. METHODS: Using the ASC, we measured auditory skills in 37 subjects who received cochlear implants at no more than 36 months of age. Repeated measures analysis was conducted to determine expected auditory skill development after implantation. Interrater reliability was tested on a small subset. The ASC was compared to the Infant-Toddler Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale (IT-MAIS) to determine its validity in measuring functional auditory skills. RESULTS: The ASC had excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha, 0.98) and interrater reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.99), and was highly correlated with the IT-MAIS (r = 0.90). According to the repeated measures analysis, children who received a cochlear implant at 36 months of age or earlier were expected to increase their ASC score by 8 points every 3 months (beta coefficient, 8.3; p < .001). CONCLUSIONS: The ASC is a clinically relevant and easily administered tool for assessing the functional auditory skills of young children with a cochlear implant. By assessing auditory skill development over time with the ASC, we can better realize expectations for a particular child based on his or her age, hearing loss level, and management strategies in place.