Newborn or few years of age, a child with severe to profound hearing loss can benefit from a cochlear implant to hear and better experience the world they live in. This article will explore a few key improvements your child may attain after implantation.
A cochlear implant – if compatible with the child and implanted successfully – will enable a child to listen to the world around them. This will enable better hearing and speech perception in daily interactions as well as become the catalyst to further develop speech clarity, listening, and other spoken language skills. Parents of children with cochlear implants have also reported an improvement in speech production skills and overall speech intelligibility, proving the implant’s effectiveness. However, as the implant cannot ensure perfect hearing, some cases have stated that sign language will still be necessary for hearing-impaired children to better aid communication.
Children using a cochlear implant have been reported to show an improvement in mood and overall emotional wellbeing. They were found to be happier, less frustrated, and had better self-confidence and social performances. Compared to being isolated and stressed from having to work harder at understanding conversations, the implant aided children in navigating these issues.
As the implant enables better hearing and speech development, learning in a classroom becomes more manageable for children. Language and speech skills can be improved quicker and help with their educational achievements, consequently contributing to their future career opportunities as they grow older.
The ability to hear in the workplace is crucial for communication and work efficiency
Children with severe to profound hearing loss may not be able to hear important sounds, such as alarms, which alert people of potential dangers. A cochlear implant will enable better perception of these sounds, greatly aiding the child’s personal safety.
The general consensus from medical opinions is to allow early evaluation and intervention for your child’s hearing. This is because (if a cochlear implant is required) a child’s development with a cochlear implant has been proven to be more effective the earlier it is implanted. Each child’s implantation surgery will lead to different outcomes and possibly some limitations, so it is recommended to speak to your specialist thoroughly about these potential issues.
American Academy of Audiology (2019), Cochlear Implants in Children, viewed 27 February 2019, https://www.audiology.org/publications-resources/document-library/cochlear-implants-children
Aussie Deaf Kids (2019), A Comparison of Anticipated Benefits and the Personal, Educational, and Social Outcomes of Cochlear Implantations in Deaf Children, viewed 27 February 2019, https://www.aussiedeafkids.org.au/a-comparison-of-anticipated-benefits-and-the-personal-educational-and-social-outcomes-of-cochlear-implantation-in-deaf-children.html
Baby Hearing (2019), Pros and Cons of Cochlear Implants, viewed 27 February 2019, https://www.babyhearing.org/devices/cochlear-implant-pros-cons
Fortunato-Tavares, T, Befi-Lopes, D, Bento, RF, Andrade, CRFD, 2012, ‘Children with cochlear implants: Communication skills and quality of life’, Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology, vol. 78, no. 1, pp. 15-25.
Morettin, M, Santos, MJDD, Stefanini, MR, Antonio, FDL, Bevilacqua, MC, Cardoso, MRA 2013, ‘Measures of quality of life in children with cochlear implant: systematic review’, Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology, vol. 70, no. 3, pp. 382-390.