Cochlear Implant Program

Cochlear Implant Program

Dear families,

Welcome to the pediatric Cochlear Implant Program. We are a multidisciplinary team of audiologists (American Board of Audiology Certified Cochlear Implant Specialists), otolaryngologists, speech-language pathologists (Certified Auditory Verbal Therapists), social workers, and educational consultants. We work with children with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss who are being evaluated for cochlear implantation and children who already use cochlear implants.

Our goal is to provide the best possible care for a child and family, to educate other professionals with whom the child may interact and to conduct research into improving outcomes with the technology.

The cochlear implant is an electronic device that can provide auditory sensation to a person with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. The cochlear implant bypasses the damaged organ of hearing and stimulates the auditory nerve directly. The cochlear implant consists of a surgically implanted component and an externally worn component. With a cochlear implant, children may be able to hear and speak better. Outcomes vary, however, based on the individual.

Approximately 50 children received the cochlear implant at our center within the last year, and we follow more than 400 children. Although this is a large number of implants for a pediatric-only program, we maintain our attention to each individual and family. Families seeking a cochlear implant for their child must understand the significance of this type of intervention. Because a child must learn to understand the sounds that he or she hears through the implant (a process that can take years), the candidacy evaluation is thorough. This is done not only to ensure that the child is an appropriate candidate, but also to ensure that appropriate long-term follow up and an appropriate educational environment are in place. After a child has received an implant, ongoing care must ensure that a child's hearing is optimized, that spoken language goals are being met, that the family is best prepared to advocate for the child and that the child's educational environment is appropriate.

Our program provides training to a variety of professionals. We have training experiences in-house for clinicians who seek to know more about how to provide care to this population of children. We hold monthly meetings for local educators and therapists who also work with the children that we serve. Each year, out team hosts a regional conference for a variety of professionals interested in this clinical population. The Program heads a national training program for educators and early interventionists in collaboration with other programs located in Georgia and California.

Clinical and basic science research seeks to expand the knowledge of the outcomes, technology and physiology for the benefit of people who use the cochlear implant. Research includes manufacturer-initiated clinical trials as well as research where the primary investigator is a member of the cochlear implant team. Results of this work are regularly published in peer-review journals and are presented at international conferences.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns. For appointments or more information, please call 215- 590-7463, fax 215-590-5641 or e-mail citeam@email.chop.edu.

Sincerely,

Center for Childhood Communication

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Patient Story

Cochlear implants have helped one little girl make great progress in overcoming language delays due to prematurity. 
Read Anna's story.

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