Cochlear implants in children: Speech production and auditory discrimination

L. S. Eisenberg, Karen Kirk, M. A. Thielemeir, W. M. Luxford, J. K. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given the impact of early deafness, the population that may stand to gain the most from a cochlear implant is the profoundly deaf child. In 1980, the House Ear Institute (HEI) began a project to determine the practical and methodologic issues involved in the implantation of children. Since that time, HEI and seven coinvestigator teams have developed a comprehensive multidisciplinary program for the clinical investigation of the House/3M single-electrode cochlear implant in children. Results to date have indicated that implant children, as a group, demonstrate significant improvement in auditory detection and discrimination tasks when cochlear implant performance was compared with preimplant hearing aid performance. Significant improvements in speech production have also been documented, particularly for children implanted in the preschool-age years. Children in both oral communication and total communication programs have exhibited significant improvement in speech kills. Surgical and postoperative complications have been minimal, and psychological studies indicate that the children have made good adjustment to the implant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-421
Number of pages13
JournalOtolaryngologic Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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