How do families perceive school and school life of a child with Cochlear Implant? A comparison between an Italian and a Swedish sample

Marianne Bengtsson Agostino, Ann-Charlotte Gyllenram, Linnea Agostino


Introduction. During the summer 2011 a study was undertaken in Italy and Sweden in families who had a son or a daughter at school with a Cochlear Implant (CI). CI-children are an emerging group in school and society today. Until recently studies have often compared CI-hearing with deafness but fortunately today CI-children and CI-hearing represent a new reality with sometimes surprising language acquisition. The main aim of the present study was to investigate CI-children in school, kind of CI and hearing devices, their well-being, friends, teachers availability, parents’ perception of collaboration that exist between teachers and special staff, acoustics in classrooms and other areas.

Material and method. Data were collected using a multi-structured questionnaire of 27 items.

Results. Ninety-seven Swedish families and 115 Italian families answered and sent back the questionnaire. The percentage of respondents in both samples was around 50%.

The results show some similarities between the two countries and some interesting differences. The most striking difference between the Italian and the Swedish sample concerned the number of bilateral CI. In the Italian sample only two girls and four boys had bilateral implants, while in the Swedish sample 29 girls and 39 boys had bilateral implants.

Discussion. From the results of the present study it seems that the CI-children who participated in both Italy and Sweden are well adapted at school. To identify those children who are born deaf and could have their hearing restored by CI is so important.


Cochlear Implant; child; family; school; school life; Italy; Sweden

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