Children with Auditory Brainstem Implant: How Do They Perform in Motor and Language Skills?


AUDIOLOGY AND NEURO-OTOLOGY, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000510584
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE


Background: Young children are able to explore new objects and practice language through the acquisition of motor skills that lead to their overall development. Congenital hearing loss and total vestibular loss may contribute to the delay in speech and motor skill development. Objectives: To investigate the relationship between motor development performance, speech perception, and language performance in children with auditory brainstem implant (ABI). Method: Ten children, aged 4-17 years (mean age 9.76 +/- 4.03), fitted with unilateral ABI for at least 2 years due to the presence of labyrinthine aplasia and rudimentary otocyst at least 1 side were included in the study. Several standardized tests, such as Bruininks-Oseretsky Motor Proficiency Test-2 (BOT-2), Children's Auditory Perception Test Battery, Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale (MAIS), and Test of Early Language Development-3, were performed to evaluate their skills of fine motor control, balance, manual dexterity, language, and auditory perception. Results: A significant correlation was established between the BOT-2 manual dexterity and MAIS scores (r = 0.827, p < 0.05) and between the manual dexterity and language skills (for expressive language, r = 0.762, p < 0.05; for receptive language, r = 0.650, p < 0.05). Some of the BOT-2 balance tasks, such as standing on 1 leg on a line with eyes closed, standing on 1 leg on a balance beam with eyes open, standing heel-to-toe on a balance beam, and walking forward heel-to-toe on a line, showed a strong correlation with their receptive and expressive language performance (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The current study has indicated that significantly poor manual and balance performances are associated with poor speech perception and language skills in children with ABI. The authors recommend performing a vestibular assessment before and after ABI surgery and the use of a holistic rehabilitation approach, including auditory and vestibular rehabilitation, to support development of the children with ABI.