Questions to ask when you are thinking about a cochlear implant for your child

  1. What is a cochlear implant and how does it work? [LEARN MORE]
  2. Is a cochlear implant an option for my child? [LEARN MORE]
  3. What can we expect from cochlear implants? [LEARN MORE]
  4. How can my child get a cochlear implant? [LEARN MORE]

Keep in mind:
  • A cochlear implant may help people with severe to profound hearing loss detect sound and understand speech when hearing aids do not help.
  • A cochlear implant has two parts:
    • one that you can see on the head and
    • one that is surgically inserted under the skin near the ear.
    • From there a wire runs to the inner ear.
  • Both parts work together to change sound into electric signals. These signals are sent along the hearing nerve to the brain. For picture see: www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/coch.aspx
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Keep in mind:
A cochlear implant team will consider the following:
  • Is your child older than 1 year?
  • Does your child have a severe to profound hearing loss in both ears?
  • Have hearing aids not helped even when worn regularly for several weeks or months?
  • Has your child received speech-language and auditory (listening) therapy during the hearing aid trial?
If the answers are yes, a cochlear implant may help your child. Your child should also receive speech and language therapy and educational services before and after the implant.
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Keep in mind:
Benefits from cochlear implants may take months or years. This can depend on:
  • The age of your child at the time of implantation.
  • The cause of the hearing loss.
  • Consistent use of the device.
  • Family involvement, speech language therapy and educational support.
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Keep in mind:
  • A pre-implant evaluation is necessary to determine if your child is a candidate for a cochlear implant.
  • The cochlear implant center will help in obtaining insurance approval for the cost of the surgery and follow-up appointments.
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