Topic 3.4 - Sustaining oral communicative skills in children fitted with CI (ESR14)

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Topic 3.4, Sustaining oral communicative skills in children fitted with CI is hosted by the CNRS-LPNC at the Université Grenoble-Alpes and supervised by Hélène Loevenbruck and Anne Vilain.

Although cochlear implants (CI) can efficiently restore auditory functions, there is a large range of recuperation levels, and some children fitted with CI never develop adequate oral language skills. We expect that speech skills can be predicted by audiological profile as well as communicative experience. Thorough quantitative descriptions of children with CI, speech abilities are needed to sort out predicting factors and improve intervention strategies. The first aim of this task is to provide an account of speech production and perception abilities in prelingual children with HI, fitted with a CI, after several years of implantation, and with various audiological and linguistic profiles. Fine acoustic measurements, intelligibility assessments, and perception tests will be combined. The second aim is to develop a wider-range screening method for the evaluation of phonological representations in French-speaking children with CI.

This topic will provide a quantitative normative description of the various speech patterns of children with CI in relation to predictive factors, such as age of implantation, duration of implant use, communication modes and practice, unilateral vs. bilateral implantation. These normative data will provide a comprehensive overview of the communicative skills of children fitted with CI and help us to establish guidelines for early speech remediation and school support for this specific population. Bridges will be built between linguistics, psychoacoustics, audiology, and sociolinguistics.

Part of this project will take place at the University of Leeds and at the Bradford Teaching hospitals. These secondments will enable the ESR to broaden their perspective on intervention methods and educational settings in different countries, and to benefit from direct experience of daily contacts with patients with HI and their caregivers, increasing their awareness of the reality of their situations.

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