Does Access to Visual Input Inhibit Auditory Development for Children With Cochlear Implants? A Review of the Evidence Purpose We review the evidence for attenuating visual input during intervention to enhance auditory development and ultimately improve spoken language outcomes in children with cochlear implants. Background Isolating the auditory sense is a long-standing tradition in many approaches for teaching children with hearing loss. However, the evidence base ... Article
Article  |   August 10, 2017
Does Access to Visual Input Inhibit Auditory Development for Children With Cochlear Implants? A Review of the Evidence
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jena McDaniel
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Stephen Camarata
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: This research was supported by a US Department of Education Preparation of Leadership Personnel grant (H325D140087) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institute of Health (UL1 TR000445).
    Financial: This research was supported by a US Department of Education Preparation of Leadership Personnel grant (H325D140087) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institute of Health (UL1 TR000445).×
  • Nonfinancial: Jena McDaniel and Stephen Camarata have no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Jena McDaniel and Stephen Camarata have no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Part 1
Article   |   August 10, 2017
Does Access to Visual Input Inhibit Auditory Development for Children With Cochlear Implants? A Review of the Evidence
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2017, Vol. 2, 10-24. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG9.10
History: Received January 27, 2017 , Revised May 23, 2017 , Accepted June 12, 2017
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2017, Vol. 2, 10-24. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG9.10
History: Received January 27, 2017; Revised May 23, 2017; Accepted June 12, 2017

Purpose We review the evidence for attenuating visual input during intervention to enhance auditory development and ultimately improve spoken language outcomes in children with cochlear implants.

Background Isolating the auditory sense is a long-standing tradition in many approaches for teaching children with hearing loss. However, the evidence base for this practice is surprisingly limited and not straightforward. We review four bodies of evidence that inform whether or not visual input inhibits auditory development in children with cochlear implants: (a) audiovisual benefits for speech perception and understanding for individuals with typical hearing, (b) audiovisual integration development in children with typical hearing, (c) sensory deprivation and neural plasticity, and (d) audiovisual processing in individuals with hearing loss.

Conclusions Although there is a compelling theoretical rationale for reducing visual input to enhance auditory development, there is also a strong theoretical argument supporting simultaneous multisensory auditory and visual input to potentially enhance outcomes in children with hearing loss. Despite widespread and long-standing practice recommendations to limit visual input, there is a paucity of evidence supporting this recommendation and no evidence that simultaneous multisensory input is deleterious to children with cochlear implants. These findings have important implications for optimizing spoken language outcomes in children with cochlear implants.

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