Long-Term Trajectories of the Development of Speech Sound Production in Pediatric Cochlear Implant Recipients

Tomblin, J. Bruce; Shu-Chen Peng; Spencer, Linda J.; Lu, Nelson
October 2008
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Oct2008, Vol. 51 Issue 5, p1353
Academic Journal
Purpose: This study characterized the development of speech sound production in prelingually deaf children with a minimum of 8 years of cochlear implant (CI) experience. Method: Twenty-seven pediatric CI recipients' spontaneous speech samples from annual evaluation sessions were phonemically transcribed. Accuracy for these speech samples was evaluated in piecewise regression models. Results: As a group, pediatric CI recipients showed steady improvement in speech sound production following implantation, but the improvement rate declined after 6 years of device experience. Piecewise regression models indicated that the slope estimating the participants' improvement rate was statistically greater than 0 during the first 6 years post implantation, but not after 6 years. The group of pediatric CI recipients' accuracy of speech sound production after 4 years of device experience reasonably predicts their speech sound production after 5-10 years of device experience. Conclusions: The development of speech sound production in prelingually deaf children stabilizes after 6 years of device experience, and typically approaches a plateau by 8 years of device use. Early growth in speech before 4 years of device experience did not predict later rates of growth or levels of achievement. However, good predictions could be made after 4 years of device use.


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