Longitudinal Changes in Children’s Speech and Voice Physiology after Cochlear Implantation

Maureen B. Higgins, Elizabeth A. McCleary, Arlene Earley Carney, Laura Schulte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The purposes of this investigation were 1) to describe speech/voice physiological characteristics of prelingually deafened children before and after cochlear implantation and determine whether they fall into a range that would be considered deviant, 2) to determine whether selected deviant articulatory and phonatory behaviors of children with cochlear implants persist despite long-term cochlear implant use and continued participation in aural rehabilitation services, and 3) to determine whether further development of deviant articulatory and phonatory behaviors occurs postimplantation. Seven prelingually deafened children who received cochlear implants after 5 yr of age were followed from shortly before implantation until 5 to 6 yr postimplantation. These children received their early education in a Total Communication environment and used the Nucleus 22-electrode cochlear implant. All of them initially used the MPEAK speech processing strategy, and five of them eventually upgraded to the SPEAK speech processing strategy. Speech/voice physiological measurements that were obtained periodically from the children included intraoral air pressure (Po), nasal and phonatory air flow, voice onset time (VOT), and fundamental frequency (Fo). Data from the deaf children were compared with a database from 56 children with normal hearing to determine when the deaf children exhibited “deviant” speech/voice behaviors. Speech/voice behaviors were considered “deviant” if they never occurred for children with normal hearing or were associated with z-scores that were outside the range of ±2.0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-70
Number of pages23
JournalEar and hearing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2003


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