Beginning to Talk Like an Adult: Increases in Speech-Like Utterances in Young Cochlear Implant Recipients and Typically Developing Children Purpose Speech-like utterances containing rapidly combined consonants and vowels eventually dominate the prelinguistic and early word productions of typically developing (TD) toddlers. It seems reasonable to expect a similar phenomenon in young recipients of cochlear implants (CIs). The authors of this study sought to determine the number of months of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2013
Beginning to Talk Like an Adult: Increases in Speech-Like Utterances in Young Cochlear Implant Recipients and Typically Developing Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David J. Ertmer
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Jongmin Jung
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Diana True Kloiber
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Correspondence to David J. Ertmer: dertmer@purdue.edu
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Peter Flipsen, Jr.
    Associate Editor: Peter Flipsen, Jr.×
Article Information
Development / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / International & Global / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2013
Beginning to Talk Like an Adult: Increases in Speech-Like Utterances in Young Cochlear Implant Recipients and Typically Developing Children
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2013, Vol. 22, 591-603. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2013/12-0058)
History: Received June 29, 2012 , Revised November 15, 2012 , Accepted April 11, 2013
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2013, Vol. 22, 591-603. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2013/12-0058)
History: Received June 29, 2012; Revised November 15, 2012; Accepted April 11, 2013

Purpose Speech-like utterances containing rapidly combined consonants and vowels eventually dominate the prelinguistic and early word productions of typically developing (TD) toddlers. It seems reasonable to expect a similar phenomenon in young recipients of cochlear implants (CIs). The authors of this study sought to determine the number of months of robust hearing experience needed to achieve a majority of speech-like utterances in both of these groups.

Method Speech samples were recorded from CI recipients at 3-month intervals during the first 2 years of CI experience, and from TD children at time points between 6 and 24 months of age. Speech-like utterances were operationally defined as those belonging to the basic canonical syllables (BCS) or advanced forms (AF) levels of the Consolidated Stark Assessment of Early Vocal Development—Revised (Ertmer, Young, & Nathani, 2007).

Results On average, the CI group achieved a majority of speech-like utterances after 12 months of robust hearing experience and the TD group after 18 months. The CI group produced greater percentages of speech-like utterances at each interval until 24 months, when both groups approximated 80%.

Conclusion Auditory deprivation did not limit progress in vocal development as young CI recipients showed more-rapid-than-typical speech development during the first 2 years of device use. Implications for the infraphonological model of speech development are considered.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01DC007863, awarded to the first author. We are especially grateful to the parents and children who made this study possible. We are also indebted to the following individuals for their assistance in participant recruitment and data collection: Michele Wilkins, Wendy Ban Deters, Monica Brumbaugh, Jennifer Haney, and Monica Lynch at Child's Voice school (Wood Dale, IL); Jean Moog, Rhonda Bennight, Mariana Helbig, and Laurie Preusser at the Moog Center (Chesterfield, MO); Margo Appenzeller, Megan Mercurio, Carey Evans Ratliff, and Meredith Wessels at the Ohio Valley Voices (Loveland, OH); Mary Daniels, Cheryl Broekelmann, Kathy Gallagher, Barb Meyers, Judy Odendahl, and Audrea Strelo at the St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf (Chesterfield, MO); and Teri Ouellette and Carrie Tamminga at the St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf (Indianapolis, IN). Jennifer Slanker, Christy Macak, Elesha Sharp, and Stephanie Wieczorek helped in data processing and utterance classification. Denise Bradford completed the statistical analyses in consultation with Bruce Craig. Thanks also to Kim Oller and Suneeti Nathani Iyer for their helpful feedback during the revision of this article.
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