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The Volta Review

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The present study investigated the development of audiovisual speech perception skills in children who are prelingually deaf and received cochlear implants. We analyzed results from the Pediatric Speech Intelligibility (Jerger, Lewis, Hawkins, & Jerger, 1980) test of audiovisual spoken word and sentence recognition skills obtained from a large group of young children with cochlear implants enrolled in a longitudinal study, from pre-implantation to 3 years post-implantation. The results revealed better performance under the audiovisual presentation condition compared with auditory-alone and visual-alone conditions. Performance in all three conditions improved over time following implantation. The results also revealed differential effects of early sensory and linguistic experience. Children from oral communication (OC) education backgrounds performed better overall than children from total communication (TC backgrounds. Finally, children in the early-implanted group performed better than children in the late-implanted group in the auditory-alone presentation condition after 2 years of cochlear implant use, whereas children in the late-implanted group performed better than children in the early-implanted group in the visual-alone condition. The results of the present study suggest that measures of audiovisual speech perception may provide new methods to assess hearing, speech, and language development in young children with cochlear implants.


This is a post-print version of an article originally published in The Volta Review, 2003, Volume 103, Issue 4.

The version of record is available through: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

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