Early Sign Language Exposure and Cochlear Implantation Benefits
In a new, multisite study of deaf children with cochlear implants, UT Dallas researchers have found that children with either no exposure or limited exposure to sign language end up with better auditory, speaking and reading skills later.
"This study provides the most compelling support yet available for the benefits of listening and spoken language input for promoting verbal development in children implanted by 3 years of age," Geers said.
"Contrary to earlier published assertions, there was no advantage to parents' use of sign language. This result affirms the decision of many hearing parents who choose not to use sign language when their child receives a cochlear implant."
The paper is one of the first nationwide longitudinal studies of how sign language exposure affects young cochlear implant recipients.