Effects of Age at Cochlear Implantation on Speech Language Development: Case of Junior Hearts Academy in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Brooke, Wanjiru Jedidah
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of age at cochlear implantation on language development, among children with hearing impairment in Nairobi, Kenya. The specific objectives were to assess the effects of age at cochlear implantation on receptive linguistics, to determine the effect of age at cochlear implantation and to find out effects of age at cochlear implantation on expressive ability. The study was based on the language acquisition theory by BF Skinner. The study used both primary and secondary data. The study participants were children with hearing impairment, who have been fitted with cochlear implants and are attending school at Junior Hearts Academy and having speech therapy. The study compared 10 children, 5 children whose cochlear implant was done before the age of 5 years and 5 who had a cochlear implant after the age of 5 years. The researcher collected data from medical records of the study participants by use of a checklist. A battery test was used to assess the language development skills of these children. The data collected was analyzed using multiple linear regression analysis. The study established a strong relationship between early cochlear implantation and early language development especially in receptive linguistics among the children aged below 5 years. It was established that the age at cochlear implantation had a positive effect on listening skills. Further, a positive correlation was established between expressive ability and effective speech developmental milestones speech among pediatric whose cochlear implant was done below the age of 5, implying that children whose cochlear implant was done before age 5 had better language development compared to the participants whose cochlear implant was done after the age of 5. Listening skills measures were not significantly correlated with language ability scores, this was possibly due to a ceiling effect. Based on the findings, it can be concluded that receptive linguistics, listening skills and expressive ability is directly influenced by the age of Cochlear implantation (CI) as well as the pre-lingual skills.