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Cochlear Implant Rehabilitation
While the cochlear implant provides access to sound, understanding takes more than just hearing. Intensive individualized habilitation (intervention for patients who have never heard before) and rehabilitation (intervention for patients who are learning to hear again) allows for optimal gains for all recipients. Our rehabilitation team consists of highly trained speech language pathologists and educators of the deaf. A unique rehabilitative and patient-centered focus allows for collaboration among the recipient, family, therapist, doctor, audiologist, and other professionals to establish a path to success. Our multi-disciplinary team shares a commitment to providing a complete network of services to help each of our patients use their cochlear implant(s) to achieve their greatest potential.
Bringing Sounds to Life
Once the cochlear implant is activated, sound can be heard but the brain does not automatically make connections with meaning. Time and practice is needed to adapt and assign meaning to the new incoming sound provided by the cochlear implant, as understanding occurs in the brain. Children who have never heard before are in the process of developing a language system with the new auditory signal provided by the cochlear implant. Adults who have an established language system must also learn to attach meaning to the new signal. All recipients require immersion in an auditory-rich environment in order to reach their maximum potential. Aural rehabilitation aids the process of attaching meaning to sound.
Initiating Aural Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation for children begins shortly after the implant is activated. The Cochlear Implant Center requires families to commit to a minimum of one year of rehabilitation in order to maximize outcomes. One-hour rehabilitation sessions for children occur on a weekly basis. Rehabilitation for adults begins with an adult rehabilitation consultation. This one-time, 120-minute consultation may be scheduled at any time after the patient acquires at least one month of listening experience with the cochlear implant(s). Individualized needs in the areas of auditory therapy, communication management and the adjustment to an auditory environment are determined. Based upon the results of this functional evaluation, the therapist will recommend a treatment plan for follow-up services, which may occur weekly or as needed.
Rehabilitation Goals and Objectives
Goals and objectives are tailored to meet the individualized needs of the pediatric and adult patients. In our rehabilitation sessions, therapists empower patients (children and parents, adults and their support network) to understand and advocate for their personal communication needs.
Unique to The Cochlear Implant Center is our Outreach Program, which extends into the community to facilitate - most importantly - successful functioning in the patient’s day-to-day communications.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cochlear Implants
What does an implant sound like? Can I sleep with an implant on? How much hair will be shaved off during surgery?
Cochlear Implants for Kids
Early intervention is important for children in order to achieve the best results and reach developmental milestones.