Parents’ Views on Changes in Their Child’s Communication and Linguistic and Socioemotional Development After Cochlear Implantation
Our aim was to obtain versatile information on the communication and socioemotional development of implanted children in their everyday environment. We studied 18 children implanted unilaterally at the mean age of 3 years 4 months. All had normal nonverbal intelligence, but 8 (44%) had concomitant problems. Their parents filled out semistructured questionnaires at 6 months and then annually 1–5 years after activation. Parents reported a change from use of signs to speech, and changes in the children’s vocal behavior and spoken language development. They also reported that children had calmed down and showed an increased sense of self-confidence and safety with an expanded social life. The greatest changes started to take place 1 year after implantation. Five years after implantation, two thirds of children were judged to be as independent as their age peers. We conclude that changes in communication pave the way to benefits in psychosocial development after implantation.