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How Does Total Communication affect Cochlear Implants Performance in Children?
Amy McConkey Robbins, M.S., CCC-Sp Communication Consulting Services, Indianapolis, Indiana USA

Fundamentally different philosophies about communicating with deaf children existed long before the advent of cochlear implants. However, the increasingly common use of cochlear implants in young children has generated much discussion regarding appropriate communication methodologies to use with this population. Specifically, the question has arisen as to what effect the use of simultaneous speech and sign (TC) has upon the communication development in implanted children. In this presentation, we review the published research findings to establish the degree to which TC and Oral children benefit from cochlear implants. We examine the findings in three areas of communication development: underlying language proficiency (not necessarily spoken language), speech perception, and speech intelligibility. Very different research findings have been documented for language proficiency, versus for speech perception and intelligibility. The implications for further research and for clinical management of implanted children will be discussed.

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