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Am J Occup Ther. 2009 Mar-Apr;63(2):208-13.

Sensory-processing disorder in children with cochlear implants.

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  • 1University of Texas at Dallas, Callier Center for Communication Disorders, 811 Synergy Park Boulevard, Richardson, TX 75080, USA.


We examined sensory-processing disorder (SPD) in children with cochlear implants and explored the relationship between SPD and duration of hearing loss or duration of cochlear implant use. Caregivers of 30 children completed the Sensory Profile Questionnaire (SPQ). Seventy percent of the children showed "at-risk" or "different" behaviors in one or more of five categories of the SPQ: auditory, visual, vestibular, tactile, and oral processing. No noteworthy relationships surfaced between duration of deafness or duration of cochlear implant use and the atypical behaviors identified. To validate these findings further, postrotary nystagmus (PRN) testing and Miller's Assessment for Preschoolers (MAP) were administered to a subset of children. PRN was atypical in all 6 children tested. MAP findings revealed atypical sensory processing in 4 of the 6 children. Findings suggested that children with cochlear implants may be at risk for SPD. The findings are discussed in light of clinician and teacher referral for occupational therapy evaluations.

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