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Reading Ability and Working Memory in School-Age Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Using Cochlear Implants and/or Hearing Aids: A 3-Year Follow-Up on Computer-Based Phonics Training
Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Sweden. School of Health Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.
Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden. Department of Otoneurology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Humans and technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7360-4858
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2020 (English)In: Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, E-ISSN 2381-473X, Vol. 5, no 6, p. 1388-1399Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The aim of the current study was to investigate reading ability in children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) using cochlear implants (CI) or hearing aids (HA) 3 years after computer-assisted phonics intervention. Reading ability was examined in relation to cognitive and audiological aspects and compared to a reference group of children with typical hearing (TH).

Method

Participants were 73 Swedish primary school children (Mdn = 9 years). Fifty-five of the children were TH, and 18 children were DHH using CI (n = 10) or HA (n = 8). Twenty-seven of the children (all children who were DHH and nine of the children with TH) had participated in computer-based phonics intervention 3 years earlier. Children were assessed on word and nonword decoding, reading comprehension, and three working memory (WM) tasks. Age at diagnosis, age of amplification, and duration of unaided hearing loss formed the audiological variables.

Results

Comparable word decoding skills and reading comprehension were observed in all three groups (CI, HA, and TH). Children with CI showed strong and significant correlations between two aspects of WM capacity (phonological and complex WM) and all aspects of reading. For children with TH, similar but weaker correlations as in children with CI was observed, and correlations with visual WM were also evident. In children with HA only, complex WM correlated strongly and significantly with nonword decoding. Duration of unaided hearing loss was the single audiological variable that was significantly associated with reading.

Conclusions

This 3-year follow-up showed overall positive reading results at the group level in children who are DHH. However, some children still lag behind their peers with TH. Early hearing experience and intervention are stressed as crucial factors in preventing negative outcomes in these children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2020. Vol. 5, no 6, p. 1388-1399
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Engineering Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-81619DOI: 10.1044/2020_PERSP-20-00027OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-81619DiVA, id: diva2:1503638
Note

Godkänd;2021;Nivå 0;2021-02-22 (johcin)

Available from: 2020-11-25 Created: 2020-11-25 Last updated: 2021-02-22Bibliographically approved

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Wass, Malin

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