The Impact of Communication Methods on the Reading Development of Children with Cochlear Implants
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Groves, Alexandra "Ali"
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Historically children who are deaf have struggled to read, but with the invention of cochlear implants they now have the ability to read at levels equal to their hearing peers. One variable that may affect a cochlear implant user’s ability to read at such a high level is the communication method they use. Parents must select the communication method that will best foster their child’s reading development because children who cannot read will encounter social, personal, and economic limitations. However it is often difficult for parents to decide which communication method their child should use. This paper seeks to help parents of children with cochlear implants identify the communication method that will be most beneficial for their child’s reading development. This research paper provides a meta-analysis of studies assessing the effects that oral communication methods and manual communication methods have on the reading achievement of children who are deaf and use cochlear implants. Examination of the literature suggests that oral communication methods are most likely to benefit the reading development of children with cochlear implants. This finding makes sense when considering the important role that oral language plays in the development of reading skills. Parents of children with cochlear implants can use the information provided by this meta-analysis to facilitate the selection of the best communication method for their child. Implications of using an oral communication method are considered, and suggestions for future research are given.
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