Health Discoveries in General Health News

Music helps toddlers with hearing implants learn to speak

January 27, 2010
An Israeli study has found that toddlers who have undergone cochlear implantation for impaired hearing are learning to speak more quickly through music therapy.

Infants born with impaired hearing who cannot benefit from hearing aids typically gain 90 percent normal hearing ability through the implants, but they need to go through a long rehabilitation before they can begin to speak.

Dr. Dikla Kerem of the University of Haifa examined the effect of music therapy on toddlers, ages 2-3. With pressure on them to speak, some of the toddlers become introverted, said Kerem. The music strengthens their nonverbal communication and lessens the pressure on them for verbal exchange and response.

"Music comprises various elements that are also components of language," she said. "[It] can constitute the bridge between the quiet world that the child knew and the new world of sounds that has been unfolded following the operation. "

At the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, a clinical trial is under way to study autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) in cochlear implant patients. By comparing results from those with AIED to other causes of hearing loss, researchers hope to come up with a treatment to preserve more residual hearing.ADNFCR-2730-ID-19582572-ADNFCR
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