The speech processing skills of children with cochlear implants

Pieterse-Randall, Candice (2008-12)

Thesis (MSL and HT (Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.


This study aims to describe the speech processing skills of three children ages 6;0, 6;10 and 8; 10, with cochlear implants. A psycholinguistic framework was used to profile each child’s strengths and weaknesses, using a single case study approach. Each child’s speech processing skills are described based on detailed psycholinguistically-orientated assessments. In addition, retrospective data from 1-2 years post-implantation were examined in the light of the psycholinguistic framework in order to describe each child’s development over time and in relation to time of implantation. Results showed each child to have a unique profile of strengths and weaknesses, and widely varying outcomes in terms of speech processing even though all three children had the same initial difficulty (congenital bilateral hearing loss). Links between speech processing and other aspects of development as well as contextual factors are discussed in relation to outcomes for each child. The case studies contribute to knowledge of speech processing skills in children with cochlear implants, and have clinical implications for those who work with children with cochlear implants and their families.

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