Document Type


Date of Degree


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Speech and Hearing Science

First Advisor

Tomblin, J Bruce


The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the influences of auditory information provided by the cochlear implant (CI) on the readings skills of children born with profound deafness. I investigated the relationship of access to the sound signal provided by the CI on a constellation of skills related to word-reading. In a preliminary study, I examined the relationship between the early speech production and perception skills of 72 CI users on later reading skills. Using regression analysis, I found I could explain 59% of the variance of later reading skills by early speech perception and production performance. Secondly, I examined the phonological processing skills of 29 children with prelingual, profound hearing loss with at least 4 years of CI experience. I compared this performance with 29 children with normal hearing, matched with regard to word-reading ability and Socio-Economic-Status. I also compared speech production and perception skills with phonological processing and reading skills. Results revealed that children with CIs were able to complete tasks measuring phonological processing, but there were performance differences between the two groups. Although the children with CIs had mean standard reading achievement standard scores that were about 12 points lower than the children with normal hearing, the mean standard scores for both groups was within the normal range. Finally, a regression analysis revealed that the Phonological Processing skills accounted for 50%, and 75% of the variance in word and paragraph reading scores for all the children. In conclusion early speech perception and production skills of children with profound hearing loss who receive CIs predict future reading achievement skills. Better early speech perception and production skills result in higher reading achievement. Furthermore, the early access to sound helps to build better phonological processing skills, which is one of the likely contributors to eventual reading success. Thus, it is reasonable, possible and important to assess the early speech production perception and subsequent phonological processing in children with profound hearing loss who receive CIs.


Pediatric, Cochlear Implant, Literacy, Phonology;Articulation;Hearing


xi, 142 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 118-129).


Copyright 2006 Linda J Spencer