Maximizing Outcomes

 
Maximizing Outcomes Image

Children with cochlear implants can be expected to make early and continued progress with their device. How rapidly progress occurs is dependent upon a number of factors that exist prior to the time of implantation. These factors include:

  • Age of implantation
  • Duration of deafness (before or after acquisition of speech)
  • Previous exposure to amplification (e.g., hearing aid use)
  • Presence of an established language system
  • Presence of other learning difficulties
  • Cognitive skills
  • Etiology of hearing loss
  • Level of intervention services

It can be helpful to think of the cochlear implant as a “sound messenger”, with the purpose of delivering auditory signals to the brain. The child’s ability to incorporate this signal into a meaningful message varies on an individual basis. Some factors that can impact a child’s performance or benefit become more influential post-implantation. Such factors include:

  • Consistent device use
  • Regular processor programming and device maintenance
  • Educational setting for school age children
  • Availability and quality of intervention and support services (speech-language therapy, aural (re)habilitation program)
  • Expectations of the individual, parents and those who interact with the recipient
  • Strong family network