Profiles of Vocal Development in Young Cochlear Implant Recipients Purpose The main purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of cochlear implant experience on prelinguistic vocal development in young deaf children. Procedure A prospective longitudinal research design was used to document the sequence and time course of vocal development in 7 children who were implanted ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2007
Profiles of Vocal Development in Young Cochlear Implant Recipients
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David J. Ertmer
    Purdue University
  • Nancy M. Young
    Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago
  • Suneeti Nathani
    The University of Georgia
  • Contact author: David J. Ertmer, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail: dertmer@purdue.edu.
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2007
Profiles of Vocal Development in Young Cochlear Implant Recipients
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2007, Vol. 50, 393-407. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/028)
History: Received April 11, 2006 , Accepted August 21, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2007, Vol. 50, 393-407. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/028)
History: Received April 11, 2006; Accepted August 21, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 31

Purpose The main purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of cochlear implant experience on prelinguistic vocal development in young deaf children.

Procedure A prospective longitudinal research design was used to document the sequence and time course of vocal development in 7 children who were implanted between 10 and 36 months of age. Speech samples were collected twice before implant activation and on a monthly basis thereafter for up to 2 years. Children’s vocalizations were classified according to the levels of the Stark Assessment of Early Vocal Development—Revised (SAEVD–R; S. Nathani, D. J Ertmer, & R. E. Stark, 2006).

Results The main findings were (a) 6 of 7 children made advancements in vocal development after implantation; (b) children implanted between 12 and 36 months progressed through SAEVD–R levels in the predicted sequence, whereas a child implanted at a younger age showed a different sequence; (c) milestones in vocal development were often achieved with fewer months of hearing experience than observed in typically developing infants and appeared to be influenced by age at implantation; and (d) in general, children implanted at younger ages completed vocal development at younger chronological ages than those implanted later in life. Specific indicators of benefit from implant use were also identified.

Conclusion The time course of vocal development in young cochlear implant recipients can provide clinically useful information for assessing the benefits of implant experience. Studies of postimplantation vocal development have the potential to inform theories of spoken language development.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Grant 1R03DC04226 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, awarded to the first author. We are especially grateful to the participating children and their parents for their dedicated support of this project. We are also indebted to Kristin Corbett, Kathy Saindon, Jennifer Mellon, and Mary Nallenweg for their assistance in data collection and to Claire Johnson, Lynnette Strong, Lisa Lachowicz, Christine Miller, and Jennifer Quesenberry for their work in data management and analysis.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access