Connected Speech Intelligibility of Children With Cochlear Implants and Children With Normal Hearing The objective of this study was to compare the connected speech intelligibility of children who use cochlear implants with that of children who have normal hearing. Previous research has shown that speech intelligibility improves from before cochlear implantation to after implantation and that the speech intelligibility of children who use ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2003
Connected Speech Intelligibility of Children With Cochlear Implants and Children With Normal Hearing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Steven B. Chin, PhD
    Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • Patrick L. Tsai
    Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • Sujuan Gao
    Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • Contact author: Steven B. Chin, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 699 West Drive, RR044, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5119.
    Contact author: Steven B. Chin, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 699 West Drive, RR044, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5119.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: schin@iupui.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2003
Connected Speech Intelligibility of Children With Cochlear Implants and Children With Normal Hearing
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2003, Vol. 12, 440-451. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2003/090)
History: Received December 18, 2002 , Accepted June 30, 2003
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2003, Vol. 12, 440-451. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2003/090)
History: Received December 18, 2002; Accepted June 30, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 33

The objective of this study was to compare the connected speech intelligibility of children who use cochlear implants with that of children who have normal hearing. Previous research has shown that speech intelligibility improves from before cochlear implantation to after implantation and that the speech intelligibility of children who use cochlear implants compares favorably with that of children who use conventional hearing aids. However, no research has yet addressed the question of how the speech intelligibility of children who use cochlear implants compares to that of children with normal hearing. In the current study, archival data on connected speech intelligibility from 51 children with cochlear implants were compared with newly collected data from 47 children with normal hearing. Results showed that for children with cochlear implants, greater intelligibility was associated with both increased chronological age and increased duration of cochlear implant use. Consistent with previous studies, children with normal hearing achieved adult-like or near-adult-like intelligibility around the age of 4 years, but a similar peak in intelligibility was not observed for the children who used cochlear implants. On the whole, children with cochlear implants were significantly less intelligible than children with normal hearing, when controlling both for chronological age and for length of auditory experience. These results have implications for the socialization and education of children with cochlear implants, particularly with respect to on-time placement in mainstream educational environments with age peers.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by Grants R01DC00423 and T32DC00012 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to Indiana University.
We are grateful to Susan T. Sehgal, Cara Lento Kaiser, Tara E. O’Neill, and Shelly P. Godar for assistance with data collection, to Theresa S. Kerr for database assistance, and to Michael S. Vitevitch and Derek M. Houston for comments and suggestions. Finally, we very much appreciate the assistance and cooperation of the children who participated and their parents, as well as the staff and administration of the Center for Young Children (Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis), in particular its director, Beth Jeglum.
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