Babbling Complexity and Its Relationship to Speech and Language Outcomes in Children With Cochlear Implants

The primary purpose of the study was to determine if prelinguistic vocalizations can predict later speech and language outcomes in children with prelingual deafness who use cochlear implants (CIs).

by Elizabeth A. Walker and Sandie Bass-Ringdahl


Objective: To investigate if babbling complexity in early childhood is related to speech and language outcomes in
later childhood in children with cochlear implants (CIs).
Study Design: Retrospective.
Setting: Tertiary care hospital.
Patients: Nineteen infants with CIs participated.
Intervention: Infants received multichannel CIs.
Main Outcome Measures: Infant vocal recordings were taken during pre- and post-CI visits up to 13 months post-CI. Vocalizations were measured using a scoring system that takes into account the phonetic complexity of infant vocalizations. Outcome variables included articulation and language measures collected at 4 years of age. Data were analyzed using correlational and regression analyses.
Results: For infants with at least 6 to 9 months of CI experience, the phonetic complexity of babbling is significantly correlated with receptive vocabulary, articulation abilities, and global language skills at 4 years of age.
Conclusion: The phonetic complexity of prelinguistic vocalizations is related to later speech and language outcomes in children with CIs. This information may be valuable in terms of tracking progress in pediatric CI users. Key Words: Cochlear implantsVPediatricsVSpeech/language outcomes.
Otol Neurotol 00:00Y00, 2007



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