Hear and Say are paediatric hearing loss and speech development experts.



Dettman, S., Wall, E., Constantinescu, G., & Dowell, R.

Communication outcomes for groups of children using cochlear implants enrolled in Auditory-Verbal, Aural-Oral, and Bilingual- Bicultural early intervention programs. Otology & Neurotology, 34(3), 451-459.

Objective: The relative impact of early intervention approach on speech perception and language skills was examined in these 3 well-matched groups of children using cochlear implants.

Study Design: Eight children from an auditory verbal intervention program were identified. From a pediatric database, researchers blind to the outcome data, identified 23 children from auditory oral programs and 8 children from bilingualbicultural programs with the same inclusion criteria and equivalent demographic factors.

Patients: All child participants were male, had congenital profound hearing loss (pure tone average 980 dBHL), no additional disabilities, were within the normal IQ range, were monolingual English speakers, had no unusual findings on computed tomography/

magnetic resonance imaging, and received hearing aids and cochlear implants at a similar age and before 4 years of age.

Main Outcome Measures: Open-set speech perception (consonant-nucleus-consonant [CNC] words and Bamford-Kowal-Bench [BKB] sentences) and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) were administered.

Results: The mean age at cochlear implant was 1.7 years (range, 0.8Y3.9; SD, 0.7), mean test age was 5.4 years (range, 2.5Y10.1; SD, 1.7), and mean device experience was 3.7 years (range, 0.7Y7.9; SD, 1.8). Results indicate mean CNC scores of 60%, 43%, and 24% and BKB scores of 77%, 77%, and 56% for the auditory-verbal (AV), aural-oral (AO), and bilingual-bicultural (BB) groups, respectively. The mean PPVT delay was 13, 19, and 26 months for AV, AO, and BB groups, respectively.

Conclusion: Despite equivalent child demographic characteristics at the outset of this study, by 3 years postimplant, there were significant differences in AV, AO, and BB groups. Results support consistent emphasis on oral/aural input to achieve optimum spoken communication outcomes for children using cochlear implants.

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Maia’s Story

At 9.10pm on 24 October 2013 our beautiful daughter Maia was born. 

The moment of elation was short-lived as we immediately noticed her left ear was missing. I frantically looked to the medical team around me for answers but received none.

Panic set in as we waited 4 days in hospital for an ENT to explain her condition, by which point we already had all the answers from Simone, who runs the Microtia and Atresia Program at Hear and Say.

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