No AccessJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing ResearchResearch Article1 Apr 2013

Speechreading Development in Deaf and Hearing Children: Introducing the Test of Child Speechreading

    Purpose

    In this article, the authors describe the development of a new instrument, the Test of Child Speechreading (ToCS), which was specifically designed for use with deaf and hearing children. Speechreading is a skill that is required for deaf children to access the language of the hearing community. ToCS is a deaf-friendly, computer-based test that measures child speechreading (silent lipreading) at 3 psycholinguistic levels: (a) Words, (b) Sentences, and (c) Short Stories. The aims of the study were to standardize the ToCS with deaf and hearing children and to investigate the effects of hearing status, age, and linguistic complexity on speechreading ability.

    Method

    Eighty-six severely and profoundly deaf children and 91 hearing children participated. All children were between the ages of 5 and 14 years. The deaf children were from a range of language and communication backgrounds, and their preferred mode of communication varied.

    Results

    Speechreading skills significantly improved with age for both groups of children. There was no effect of hearing status on speechreading ability, and children from both groups showed similar performance across all subtests of the ToCS.

    Conclusion

    The ToCS is a valid and reliable assessment of speechreading ability in school-age children that can be used to measure individual differences in performance in speechreading ability.

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