Cochlear Implant Program

Cochlear Implant Candidacy

Pediatric candidacy criteria

How is a child evaluated?

The cochlear implant program uses a multi-step process to determine cochlear implant candidacy. When the initial appointment is scheduled, intake information regarding the child's age, duration of hearing loss, type of hearing aids, educational placement, etc. is recorded. At an information meeting, more information will be gathered and shared by clinicians on the cochlear implant team. If appropriate, appointments are made to see an audiologist, otolaryngologist, social worker and speech language pathologist. The educational consultant reviews the child's Individualized Family Service Plan or Individualized Education Plan. At the completion of these appointments, the clinicians on the cochlear implant team meet to determine candidacy. The team may recommend surgery, may decide that a final decision should be delayed until concerns are resolved, or they may decide that the child is not a candidate for implantation.

If implantation is recommended, a surgery date is scheduled. Pre-implant auditory training may be recommended. Approximately one month after surgery, the audiologist activates the implant. Weekly, then monthly, extending to visits three to four times per year, the implant settings are adjusted. Biweekly auditory therapy is recommended for each child. Therapy may take place either by team therapists or by other professionals in the school or community. Annual evaluations with the audiologist, speech language pathologist and social worker document the child's progress and allow any concerns to be addressed.

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