Title: 'Examining the Language Environment of Children Who Are Deaf-Blind with Cochlear Implants'
Track: 3-Early Intervention and Beyond
Audience: Primary Audience: University
Secondary Audience: Part C Agency/Program
Tertiary Audeince: Advocacy Group
Keyword(s): cochear implants, deaf-blind, LENA
Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to identify language environments that facilitate child vocalizations/verbalizations after implantation.


The presentation will share outcome data for children who are deaf-blind with cochlear implants. A battery of assessments are conducted on children both pre- and post-implant. Exciting technology, the Language ENvironmental Analysis, allows the project to collect 16 continuous hours of speech data for adults and the target child in home, community and preschool environments. A small Digital Language Processor is worn in a front pocket to record the adult verbalizations to the child, the audio environment (noise, distant speech, meaningful speech, TV on) the Child's vocalizations/verbalizations and the turns in conversation. The Processor is wireless and weighs 2.8 oz. The Child's speech and language can be further analyzed to record progress in natural environments. Data from three (3) children will be displayed to the audience. These children will include the following examples with the following questions/discussion points for the audience participation: (1) A pre-implant child with multiple recordings - Is this child showing improvements in his rate of vocalizations, turns of conversations without a cochlear implant? (2) A 3 year old in a preschool with bilateral implants and a Phonak FM system - What are implications for input to the preschool staff based on the data presented? (3) A 2 year old has been implanted with a cochlear implant but receives no therapy, except Part C early intervention. Data for mother-child interactions will be shown for pre-intervention that focuses interactions in a routine and for the same routine, post intervention - In what ways is the child demonstrating progress? Are there other suggestions for the mother to increase her verbalizations? The session will show how research data can be used to make decsions for intervention in order to improve child outcomes with a cochlear implant or bilateral implants.
Presentation(s): Not Available
Handouts: Not Available
Kathleen Stremel Thomas - The Teaching Research Institute
     Credentials: MA in Speech Pathology
     Other Affiliations: Division of Early Childhood
      Kathleen "Kat" Stremel Thomas is a Principal Investigator of a grant that examines the outcomes and variables of age-at-implant and "time in sound" for young children who are deaf-blind with cochlear implants. The project is also examining effective intervention strategies and developing materials for families and service providers. Kat has been developing communication and language programs for children with multiple disabilities for over 30 years.
Susan Wiley - Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
     Credentials: M.D., Developmental Pediatrician, Professor
      Dr. Susan Wiley is a developmental pediatrician with expertise in children who are deaf/hard of hearing. She has many years of experience serving children with multiple disabilities.