The aim of the present project is to assess the early language skills of Italian preschool children with CIs and to propose an innovative intervention program aimed at promoting early language and communication skills. The effectiveness of the intervention programme and its relationship with early literacy in the primary school will be assessed. The program will be based on stimulating mother-child interactive contexts, shared book reading and semi-structured play, paying special attention to the auditory environment; by using Data Logging it will be possible to evaluate the effects of these activities on the child’s early language and literacy competencies. The study will compare 20 preschool children with CIs exposed to the early intervention program (CI-T) with 20 children with CIs exposed to a control treatment (CI-C). These groups will also be compared with two groups of 20 children: one chronological-age-matched typically developing children exposed to the same programme (TD-T), and the other exposed to a control intervention program (TD-C). The programme will be based on four areas of competence: sounds and listening, lexical skills, narrative skills and comprehension tasks. The long-term effects will be measured during a series of follow-up visits over a two-year period during primary school.
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