Long-term speech and language outcomes in prelingually deaf children, adolescents and young adults who received cochlear implants in childhood

Chad V. Ruffin, William G. Kronenberger, Bethany G. Colson, Shirley C. Henning, David B. Pisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


This study investigated long-term speech and language outcomes in 51 prelingually deaf children, adolescents and young adults who received cochlear implants (CIs) prior to 7 years of age and had used their implants for at least 7 years. Average speech perception scores were similar to those found in prior research with other samples of experienced CI users. Mean language test scores were lower than norm-referenced scores from nationally representative normal-hearing, typically developing samples, although a majority of the CI users scored within 1 standard deviation of the normative mean or higher on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Fourth Edition (63%), and the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, Fourth Edition (69%). Speech perception scores were negatively associated with a meningitic etiology of hearing loss, older age at implantation, poorer preimplant unaided pure-tone average thresholds, lower family income and the use of 'total communication'. Subjects who had used CIs for 15 years or more were more likely to have these characteristics and were more likely to score lower on measures of speech perception compared to those who had used CIs for 14 years or less. The aggregation of these risk factors in the >15 years of CI use subgroup accounts for their lower speech perception scores and may stem from more conservative CI candidacy criteria in use at the beginning of pediatric cochlear implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-296
Number of pages8
JournalAudiology and Neurotology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013



  • Children
  • Cochlear implant
  • Deafness
  • Language
  • Prelingual hearing loss
  • Speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Medicine(all)

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