Parental Education and Cochlear Implants
Yuhudai et al (2011) retrospectively reviewed 245 children with severe-to-profound hearing loss and a minimum of one year's experience with a unilateral cochlear implant to evaluate the prognostic impact of multiple variables—age at implantation, experience with cochlear implants (CIs), socioeconomic (SE) status, ethnicity, and parents' educational level.
In their study, the mean age at CI implantation was 4.5 years and mean duration of use was 5.4 years. Of the 245 children, 89 students attended regular (mainstream) schools and 156 attended special education schools. The factors that were significantly associated with attending mainstream schools were the following: younger age at implantation, higher SE status, ethnicity, and level of parental education.
The authors note that parents with lower educational achievement may "lack the ability to integrate...resources needed for a hearing impaired child...in a mainstream classroom." Yuhudai et al report that although early identification of hearing loss and early cochlear implantation is important, these two factors are not enough to assure success and "success of this biomedical intervention (CI) requires much wider assistance..." and indeed, professionals should pay careful attention to the needs of parents with lower educational levels to neutralize the adverse effect of this variable.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Yehudi N, Tzach N, Shpak T, Most T, Luntz M. (2011) Demographic Factors Influencing Educational Placement of the Hearing-Impaired Child With a Cochlear Implant. Otology & Neurotology 32:943-947.