Speech intelligibility of profoundly deaf pediatric hearing aid users

Mario A. Svirsky, Steven B. Chin, Richard T. Miyamoto, Robert B. Sloan, Matthew D. Caldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


This study examined the speech intelligibility of profoundly, prelingually or congenitally deaf children who use hearing aids. Children were 1-15 years old and they were classified into subgroups according to residual hearing (pure-tone averages [PTAs] between 90 and 100 dB HL, 100 and 110 dB HL, or greater than 110 dB HL) and communication mode (either oral or Total Communication [TC]). They read lists of standard sentences which were played back to panels of three naive listeners who were not familiar with the speech of the deaf and who did not know to which subgroup the children belonged. The data revealed a strong significant trend toward higher intelligibility for children with more residual hearing, and a significant trend toward higher intelligibility for users of oral communication than for those who used Total Communication. However, the latter trend was much more pronounced for some ranges of residual hearing than for others, and it may have been partly due to a sampling effect. A third trend showed significantly higher intelligibility levels at older ages, but this was particularly pronounced for children with PTAs between 90 and 100 dB HL, and for the majority of oral communication users (and only a few Total Communication users) with PTAs between 100 and 110 dB HL. These results suggest that the amount of residual hearing (possibly in interaction with the communication mode used by the child) may be an important factor in the development of intelligible speech.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-198
Number of pages24
JournalVolta Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Svirsky, M. A., Chin, S. B., Miyamoto, R. T., Sloan, R. B., & Caldwell, M. D. (2000). Speech intelligibility of profoundly deaf pediatric hearing aid users. Volta Review, 102(4), 175-198.