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Pediatric Cochlear Implant (CI) Evaluation

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Summary

Cochlear implant can make the difference between silence and sound for children with hearing loss so severe they cannot benefit from conventional hearing aids. However, it is not best for every child.  The only way to know whether your child is a candidate for an implant is to be evaluated by a team of professional clinicians headed by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) who specializes in cochlear implantation.

Evaluation

A series of appointments is necessary for evaluation, surgery and adjustment. Specialists in each area conduct the evaluations. All appointments before surgery are conducted at Children’s Health℠, which means you do not have to travel to individual offices. The specialists come to you.

Audiology

Candidacy Evaluations: Hearing testing is completed to determine if the child’s hearing loss qualifies him/her as a candidate for cochlear implant. Unaided (without hearing aids) and aided testing (with hearing aids) is conducted, as well as testing to evaluate if the child is able to understand any sounds or speech he/she may be able to hear. This evaluation requires more than one appointment. 

Speech-Language

An evaluation of the child’s communication skills is conducted as part of their cochlear implant candidacy in order to determine what the child is able to understand, how the child communicates with others, and how the child uses listening while communicating. The type of testing is dependent on the age of the child and their developmental level.

Implant Decision

A family meeting is held after all evaluations are complete. During this meeting, you and our child’s care team discuss if your child is a candidate for a cochlear implant, test results and the potential benefits of having a cochlear implant.

If you and the team consider cochlear implantation to be the best option for your child, the care team will provide you with information on the available products on the market to help you decide which is best for your child. Cochlear implant surgery is common. It is usually performed as day surgery and typically does not require spending the night in the hospital.

 

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