Reduces Need For Special Education Support After Two Years
Researchers at Johns Hopkins report that profoundly deaf children receiving a cochlear implant are more apt to be fully mainstreamed in school and use fewer school support services than similarly deaf children without an implant.
Results of the Hopkins-funded study, believed to be the first in the United States to examine the use of special education aid such as speech therapy, interpreters and tutoring in students with a cochlear implant, is published in the May 1 issue of Archives of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery. Specifically, the study showed children who received the implant plus one year of intense auditory and language development training were fully mainstreamed faster, at younger ages and at higher rates than a comparison group without implants. They also were less dependent on special education services after an average of two years. The study additionally placed the cost savings of educating a child receiving an implant at age 3 at $30,000-$100,000 over the course of primary and secondary school education.
"The cochlear implant also appears to give children a significant educational advantage," says Howard W. Francis, M.D., assistant professor of otolaryngology--head and neck surgery at Hopkins and lead author of the study. "It offers the possibility for the development of verbal language, which increases the chance of English literacy, and better educational and vocational opportunities."
Francis and his colleagues reviewed the progress of 35 school-age (K-8)
profound hearing loss. Prior to implantation, 22 attended special education
classes full-time in
public schools, five attended the Maryland School for the Deaf and eight were in
preschool classes. All received a multi-channel cochlear implant at the
Listening Center at
Hopkins and underwent one year of comprehensive auditory training and speech
Contact: Melissa Murray
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions