Thanks to recent technological growth, children are receiving cochlear implants earlier than ever before. This advance in technology offers a great benefit to support earlier development of language skills.   While these advancements are exciting, they, of course, create some new challenges for the young patients, their auditory-verbal therapists, and their families. Because of their young age—less than 18 months—it’s hard to track the impact of the implants.   And it is more also challenging for therapists to communicate with, and counsel, parents who want to understand how their child is responding to the implant.

The referenced article, recently published, explains the development of the Children’s Hospital (of Eastern Ontario) Inventory of Skills in Audition, Language, and Speech-CHISALS, which aims to provide a tool that supports the collection of easily accessible and actionable information for those working with young children as they adjust to their cochlear implants.

The CHISALS is a 25-item checklist that examines audition, speech, and language development in children who had cochlear implants activated before they were 18 months old. The CHISALS is developed from the theory of communimetrics, which values a measurement’s ability to communicate observations among care providers and those who are receiving care (Lyons, 2009). The article below describes the development of the tool and shares the impressions of nine therapists, after they administered the checklist to their patients.

The overall impression is that the CHISALS is easy to use and helpful in counseling parents regarding their child’s progress and future development. Inviting families into the conversation is critical to the success of the care-giving process.

Article Review written by Rebekka Schaffer

Project Assistant, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

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One Response

  1. The development of the CHISALS is so exciting, I’ve literally got goose-bumps! This is both the growth of the communimetric approach into areas beyond John Lyons’ original tools, plus in the direction of an important an unique clinical population: children with autism. I’m also thrilled to see that it is being shared in an academic journal, and thus gaining peer-reviewed legitimacy. I look forward to learning more about the tool and its use.

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