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Lip-reading is the technique of understanding speech by visually interpreting the movements of the lips, face and tongue when normal sound is not available as in noisy environment. Although, it is usually used by HI persons, most people with NH interpret some speech information from lip-reading.
Lip-reading is a complex natural cognitive skill with large individual variations in performance. The basis of these individual differences remains poorly understood in spite of several neuro- imaging studies which tried to discover the neuro-physiological bases of this skill.
Lip-reading is considered not an easy skill because it is affected by many factors such as the nature of the speech sounds / words, the speaker’s habits or features. Also, the environment around the speech situation and the lip-reader are contributing factors.
Most researches proved that lip-reading is a natural and important skill needed for language acquisition in HI children. Lip-reading helps HI children to perceive speech, acquire spoken language, and acquire phonology. Moreover, it helps to improve language abilities among those children.
The importance of lip-reading ability can be summarized as follow:
1. Lip-reading is important to perceive speech and acquire spoken language.
2. It improves cognitive abilities among cochlear implant children via multisensory channels.
3. It is important for phonological perception, hence plays an essential part in a large number of cognitive processes, such as lexical access, reading, spelling, and learning new vocabulary.
4. Lip-reading predicts reading skills among hearing impaired children. It was found to be positively related to phonological awareness.
lip-reading is more cognitively demanding for HI children to allow them to develop their cognitive abilities to the same extent as normal hearing children. So, it needs continuous assessment.
Assessment of lip-reading ability by standardized test is considered one of the challenging problems especially in Egypt as there is no standardized lip-reading test up till now. The aim of this study was to develop and standardize an Egyptian Arabic Lip-
reading test for children and usage of this test to assess the lip-
reading ability among HI children. The Egyptian Arabic Lip-
reading test “EALPT” was prepared in the Egyptian Arabic language and test pictures were selected from the Egyptian Arabic culture to be familiar for the children to recognize it. The test consisted of 2 subtests; a word subtest and a sentence subtest. Each of them has two forms (A&B) according to the difficulty of the distracting words. It was applied on 100 NH children for standardization and on 60 HI children for comparing between the lip-reading ability among HI children and between them and NH children. The EALRT was proved as valid and reliable test for assessment of lip-reading ability among children. Data of the NH and HI children were collected, tabulated and statistically analyzed by suitable tests. Data analysis revealed that lip-reading ability improves with age among NH and HI children to some extent without training. It also revealed that NH children are better lip-readers than HI children among the age range of this study. HI children fitted with HA are better lip-readers than CI children for the studied age group in this study with no gender difference among NH or HI children.