Objective: This retrospective study compared the cochlear implantation outcomes of first- and second-generation deaf children.
Methods: The study group consisted of seven deaf, cochlear-implanted children with deaf parents. An equal number of deaf children with normal-hearing parents were selected by matched sampling as a reference group. Participants were matched based on onset and severity of deafness, duration of deafness, age at cochlear implantation, duration of cochlear implantation, gender, and cochlear implant model. We used the Persian Auditory Perception Test for the Hearing Impaired, the Speech Intelligibility Rating scale, and the Sentence Imitation Test, in order to measure participants' speech perception, speech production and language development, respectively.
Results: Both groups of children showed auditory and speech development. However, the second-generation deaf children (i.e. deaf children of deaf parents) exceeded the cochlear implantation performance of the deaf children with hearing parents.
Conclusion: This study confirms that second-generation deaf children exceed deaf children of hearing parents in terms of cochlear implantation performance. Encouraging deaf children to communicate in sign language from a very early age, before cochlear implantation, appears to improve their ability to learn spoken language after cochlear implantation.