Predictors of Early Language Outcomes in Children with Connexin 26 Hearing Loss across Three Countries
Sprache des Titels:
GJB2-associated hearing loss (GJB2-HL) is the most common genetic cause of hearing loss in children. However, little is known about the clinical characteristics and early language outcomes in population-oriented samples including children with different degrees of hearing loss. Insight into these characteristics are relevant for the counselling of parents. Our sample consisted of 66 children at approximately 2 years of age (17?32 months) with bilateral hearing loss due to GJB2 from three population-based cohorts in Austria, Australia and the Netherlands. Predictors of early vocabulary, including demographic, audiological, genetic and intervention variables and the role of medical comorbidities and nonverbal cognition were examined. The vocabulary scores of children with GJB2-HL were approximately 0.7 standard deviations (SDs) below the norms of children with typical hearing. Age at access to family-centered early intervention and first-born position among siblings predicted language outcomes, whereas the degree of hearing loss and genetic subtype were not significantly correlated with expressive vocabulary. In children with GJB2-HL, early access to family-centered early intervention significantly affected language outcomes at the age of two.