In selecting patients to undergo cochlear implant, a pre-existing use of sign language gives rise to two problems that have been widely debated in the literature. First, the caution shown toward the candidacy of patients using this mode of communication, since it is considered a possible element of interference in the acquisition of speech. Secondly, refusal of the cochlear implant procedure, on the part of the deaf community, on the grounds both of cultural identity and of it being more "natural" for a deaf person to use an unimpaired visual channel rather than an impaired hearing channel. In order to establish whether knowledge of sign language does, indeed, affect speech production negatively and evaluate which mode of communication, oral or gestual, is preferred, the present investigation was carried out on a preverbal deaf child who had undergone cochlear implant at about 7 years of age and has always used both languages. His verbal skills were evaluated in the precochlear implant stage, then at 6 and 12 months after, together with the changes in his use of sign language and in the relationship between the two modes. Results, besides observing the presence of linguistic evolution at each level examined and already evident at 6 months, also documented a progressive reduction in the spontaneous use of sign language. In conclusion, the present experience revealed no temporal or qualitative differences in post-cochlear implant evolution of speech skills, in comparison with that observed in patients with an exclusively aural-oral approach. Furthermore, the increased use of the hearing pathway, made possible by cochlear implant, determined a spontaneous choice of verbal language as the most natural and economic mode of communication.
|Titolo:||Development of communication and speech skills after cochlear implant in a sign language child|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2003|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|