OBJECTIVES: The aims of the study were to compare the mainstream school readiness skills of young cochlear implant (CI) users to that of a group of normal hearing (NH) children and assessed the inter-rater agreement between parents and teachers on school readiness skills of the CI children.
METHODS: A total of 11 parents and 8 teachers of the 6-year old CI children participated and rated the children using the School Readiness Scale to Year One. Data from 207 6-year old NH children from five states in Malaysia were also collected using the same scale which has nine domains. Results from the NH children were categorized into the 25th and 75th percentile scores to be the reference cut-offs for below average (below the 25th percentile), average (25th to 75th percentile) and above average (above 75th percentile).
RESULTS: The school readiness skills of the CI children were lower than the NH group as rated by teachers especially in the civic and language and communication domains. Comparisons between parents' and teachers' ratings for 8 CI children indicated that teachers tended to rate the CI children's school readiness poorer than that of parents especially in the academic domain. Intra-class correlation analysis revealed poor inter-rater agreement.
CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that our CI children, generally, need an intervention 'bridging' program to improve their school readiness skills. Parents and teachers had different views on the readiness of the CI children at school entry level.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.