First Advisor

Douglas Martin

Term of Graduation

Winter 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech and Hearing Sciences


Speech and Hearing Sciences




Auditory perception in children, Cochlear implants, Hearing aids for children



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, iv, 48 pages)


Congenital or acquired hearing impairments put children at risk of delayed language development. Today the cochlear implant (Cl) is a viable amplification option for some children with profound hearing losses. Audiologists often recommend that children with hearing impairments be fitted with binaural hearing aids in the hope that maximum stimulation will occur and that auditory deprivation will be lessened. An area lacking investigation is whether binaural stimulation will be beneficial to the cochlear implant recipient.Controversy also exists regarding the use of a hearing aid in the non-implanted ear.

The focus of this study was to compare binaural auditory stimulation benefits for children who have a Cl and a hearing aid in the non-implanted ear with those children who use the implant alone using a group statistical design. Fourteen children with a Cl and also enrolled in an auditory-oral training program took part in this study. Eight of these children also wear a hearing aid in the non-implanted ear. The investigation incorporated the Early Speech Perception Test (ESP) to assess the auditory perception abilities of children in the two groups.

The results of the regression analysis revealed that duration of Cl use did not significantly impact subtest scores on the ESP test. Regression analysis also revealed a significant difference in scores between the two groups at the .05 level on the standard pattern/perception and word identification tests while no significant differences were noted between the groups on the spondee identification and monosyllable identification tests. The difference noted between the groups on the standard pattern/perception and word identification tests could have been influenced by the low level of processing skills required to complete the tasks.

The results of the current investigation, at least as presented in this study, revealed that the auditory perception performance of the Cl and Cl + hearing aid groups were similar and no significant difference was noted overall on the ESP test, though there were some significant differences in certain subtests. If nothing else, this study supports the use of both devices with no adverse effects on performance.


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