The present study investigated the development of audiovisual comprehension skills in prelingually deaf children who received cochlear implants.
We analyzed results obtained with the Common Phrases (Robbins et al., 1995) test of sentence comprehension from 80 prelingually deaf children with cochlear implants who were enrolled in a longitudinal study, from pre-implantation to 5 years after implantation.
The results revealed that prelingually deaf children with cochlear implants performed better under audiovisual (AV) presentation compared with auditory-alone (A-alone) or visual-alone (V-alone) conditions. AV sentence comprehension skills were found to be strongly correlated with several clinical outcome measures of speech perception, speech intelligibility, and language. Finally, pre-implantation V-alone performance on the Common Phrases test was strongly correlated with 3-year postimplantation performance on clinical outcome measures of speech perception, speech intelligibility, and language skills.
The results suggest that lipreading skills and AV speech perception reflect a common source of variance associated with the development of phonological processing skills that is shared among a wide range of speech and language outcome measures.