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Indices for the determination of the degree of communication skills improvement in prelingual children with cochlear implantation




Monitoring and documenting the progress in communication skills of cochlear implanted (CI) children is important for intervention planning, conduction of evidence-based studies, and reporting parents about their children’s progress.


The aim of the present study was to provide reliable indices that may be used to monitor a child’s communication skills progress after CI and to grade his or her performance.


The study was carried out on 53 prelingual CI children (28 boys and 25 girls). Their ages ranged from 2.5 to 6 years. They were all of average intelligence and showed no associated disorders. They were all enrolled for verbal auditory training at the Unit of Phoniatrics.


The CI children were evaluated postoperatively using the quasi-objective description of communicative ability, following scaling by transformation from the lower stages to the higher stages in communicative performance. This entailed the determination of the levels for auditory performance, receptive and expressive language, speech intelligibility, mode of communication, approximate language age, vocabulary size, and speech sounds perception. After 1 year of implantation, the children were re-evaluated and the levels achieved in each item and on the therapy program were recorded. The subjective impression of improvement was marked as poor, fair, or good, which was determined by the phoniatrician, therapist, and the parents for each child.


Expressive language development and speech intelligibility in the presence of marked speech perception are significant indicators for communication skills progress. The indices provided for various degrees of improvement are helpful to conduct evidence-based research, especially in the absence of reliable formal testing.


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Correspondence to Manal El-Banna BSc, MSc, MD.

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El-Banna, M., Youssef, G. Indices for the determination of the degree of communication skills improvement in prelingual children with cochlear implantation. Egypt J Otolaryngol 32, 287–297 (2016).

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  • cochlear implantation
  • communication skills
  • degree of improvement
  • language
  • prelingual
  • speech