Speech perception test results were obtained from a group of 40 pediatric cochlear implant users. Half of the children participated in oral- only habilitation programs, which included both traditional oral and auditory-verbal approaches, and half participated in programs that used a combination of oral and manual communication referred to as total communication (TC). Analysis of the scores showed that children enrolled in oral-only habilitation programs scored significantly higher on the speech perception measures than did children who were enrolled in total communication-based programs. These results were inconsistent with those of other reports, which suggested that communication methods had little effect on implant outcomes. To further examine the reasons for the differences in performance, we analyzed 7 additional factors, including length of implant use, age at surgery, device type, socioeconomic status, bilingualism, school setting, and participation in private therapy, which may affect implant performance. Multiple-regression analysis again showed communication mode to be the factor most highly correlated with speech perception abilities among this group of children.
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