Use of Speech by Children From Total Communication Programs Who Wear Cochlear Implants This study examined whether children who are deaf acquire usable speech or continue to rely primarily on manual communication when they are enrolled in a total communication setting following receipt of a cochlear implant. Furthermore, it considered whether the use of speech post-implant is associated with other outcomes such as ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2002
Use of Speech by Children From Total Communication Programs Who Wear Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ann Geers, PhD
    Central Institute for the Deaf, St. Louis, MO
  • Brent Spehar
    Central Institute for the Deaf, St. Louis, MO
  • Allison Sedey
    University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Contact author: Ann E. Geers, PhD, Central Institute for the Deaf, 4560 Clayton Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110. E-mail: geers@cid.wustl.edu
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / School-Based Settings / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2002
Use of Speech by Children From Total Communication Programs Who Wear Cochlear Implants
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2002, Vol. 11, 50-58. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/006)
History: Received September 8, 2000 , Accepted May 1, 2001
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2002, Vol. 11, 50-58. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/006)
History: Received September 8, 2000; Accepted May 1, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 20

This study examined whether children who are deaf acquire usable speech or continue to rely primarily on manual communication when they are enrolled in a total communication setting following receipt of a cochlear implant. Furthermore, it considered whether the use of speech post-implant is associated with other outcomes such as better speech perception skills, English language competence, speech intelligibility, and educational mainstreaming. Language samples were elicited from twenty- seven 8- and 9-year-olds who had received a Nucleus 22-channel cochlear implant before age 5 and were enrolled in a total communication program for at least the first 3 years following implantation. Samples were transcribed by mode of production (i.e., speech or sign) and scored for lexical diversity, syntax, utterance length, and use of bound morphemes. Results revealed a wide range of mode preference, with some children using primarily speech, some primarily sign, and some using both modes to varying extents. Not only did speech users achieve higher auditory speech perception scores and speech intelligibility ratings, but they also demonstrated better comprehension and use of English syntax than did children who used little or no speech. After 3 years with an implant, speech users were more likely than children who used little or no speech to be placed in mainstream educational programs.

Acknowledgments
This work was funded by grant No. RO1 DC03100 from the National Institutes of Health to Central Institute for the Deaf. Speech perception data were collected by Jillian Crosson and speech production data by Rosalie Uchanski, from Central Institute for the Deaf. Speech intelligibility measures were obtained by Emily Tobey, from the Callier Center at the University of Texas at Dallas. IPSyn scoring was verified by Judy Baek, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Christine Brenner and Gina Toretta assisted in data preparation and analysis. Input and suggestions from Nancy Tye-Murray and Johanna Nicholas were helpful in the preparation of this manuscript. The authors are grateful to the families who brought children to St. Louis for testing and provided the background information reported here.
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