Basic and advanced theory of mind in school-aged children with cochlear implants
Background and Aim: Theory of Mind (TOM) refers to the ability for attributing mental states and beliefs to ourselves and others, and understanding that the others’ mental states can be different from ours. However, this ability seems to be delayed in children with the history of hearing impairment. Based on the evidence, there is a mutual association between language development and social experiences. The present study aimed to assess TOM and the effect of speech therapy in 8- to 9-year-old children with cochlear implants (CIs).
Methods: The present study was descriptive and cross-sectional in design. A total of 18 Persian-speaking children with CIs and 18 normal children aged 8-9 years participated in the current study. Children with CIs were selected through convenience method from Amir Alam Hospital and normal peers from their play-ground. The participants had no history of sensory, anatomical, neuronal, and speech disorders. The basic and advanced TOM was assessed with Ghamarani TOM test and a comparison was done between normal children and children with CIs. The obtained data were analyzed by SPSS 21.
Results: The performance of the two groups with regard to the basic and advanced TOM was significantly different (p<0.001). Moreover, there was a significant positive correlation between the duration of speech therapy and TOM abilities (r=0.46, p=0.041).
Conclusion: Hearing impairment affects the ability of TOM in children with CIs. The duration of speech therapy has a positive effect on the development of TOM.
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