Word-decoding and reading-related skills in children with cochlear implants

Birgitta Sahlén*, Ursula Willstedt-Svensson, T. Ibertsson, Björn Lyxell

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    This study explores the role of working memory, language, and different time factors, including age at implant, time with implant, age at onset of deaf-ness, duration of deafness, on word-decoding skills (rapid reading of isolated words and non-words) in eighteen Swedish children with cochlear implants, who lost their hearing before 36 months of age. In general there was wide variability in language and cognitive skills among the eighteen children. Decoding scores (accuracy) correlated significantly with most linguistic and working memory measures even when age and duration of deafness were partialled out. Speed and accuracy measures for word decoding also remained significantly correlated, but not for non-word decoding when age was factored out. As for the time factors, no significant correlations with decoding of words/ non-words were found. In the second part of the study, fifteen of the children with CI were individually matched to hearing children studied by Lindström and Malmsten (2003). The children with CI were significantly less accurate, but they were faster decoding words and non-words than the age-matched hearing children. We found no significant difference between the groups on complex working memory, as measured by the CLPT (Competing Language Processing Task), nor on reading span tasks (word span and non-word span).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)61-82
    Number of pages22
    JournalActa Neuropsychologica
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Deaf children
    • Phonology
    • Reading span
    • Working memory

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