The Phonics Approach in Swedish Children using Cochlear Implants or Hearing Aids: Inspecting Phonological GainCecilia Nakeva von Mentzer1*, Björn Lyxell1, Birgitta Sahlén2,6, Örjan Dahlström1, Magnus Lindgren2,4, Marianne Ors2, Petter Kallioinen5 and Inger Uhlén3
- *Corresponding Author:
- Cecilia Nakeva von Mentzer
Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning
Linköping University, Sweden
Received date: August 29, 2014; Accepted date: October 04, 2014; Published date: October 11, 2014
Citation: Nakeva von Mentzer C, Lyxell B, Sahlén B, Dahlström O, Lindgren M, et al. (2014) The Phonics Approach in Swedish Children using Cochlear Implants or Hearing Aids: Inspecting Phonological Gain. Commun Disord Deaf Stud Hearing Aids 2:117. doi: 10.4172/2375-4427.1000117
Copyright: © 2014 Nakeva von Mentzer C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The present study investigated cognitive abilities (i.e. Phonological Processing Skills (PhPS), lexical access, complex and visual Working Memory (WM), and letter knowledge) in Deaf and Hard of Hearing children (DHH) 5, 6 and 7 years of age using cochlear implants or hearing aids. Children with Normal Hearing (NH) served as a reference group. All children took part of a computer-assisted intervention with a phonics approach for 4 weeks aimed to support PhPS. The first aim of the study was to examine associations between cognitive abilities and Phonological Processing Skills (PhPS) pre intervention in DHH and NH children respectively. The second aim was to examine cognitive predictors of phonological gain post intervention. Finally, the influence of background variables on phonological gain was examined in NH and DHH respectively and in DHH children with weak PhPS particularly. Results showed comparable performance level in NH and DHH children on the majority of cognitive tasks, but weaker PhPS and lexical access in the DHH children. A significant association between PhPS and complex WM was only evident in DHH children. This finding suggests that DHH recruit more cognitive resources in phonological processing. A phonological representation task was the single predictor of phonological gain in DHH children. Children with initial weak performance on this task but had letter-naming skills, displayed relatively more phonological gain from the phonics training. Children with difficulties with the phonological representation task were older when diagnosed and had an older age at amplification. Further, these children displayed broader cognitive difficulties, suggesting that reduced access to auditory stimulation may have wide ranging effects on cognitive development.