How can I best facilitate a child with a Cochlear Implant?

Resources:

      Cochlear. (1996-1997). Issues and Answers (1996-97ed.) [Brochure].

      Watkins, S. & Clark, T. C. (1993) The SKI*HI Model: A Resource Manual for Family-Centered, Home-Based Programming for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschool-Aged Children with Hearing Impairment. Hyrum, UT: Downs Printing.

Synthesis of Information:

The best way to facilitate a child with a cochlear implant is with an educational and/or therapy program that focuses on listening and developing those skills. Some of the options include: auditory-oral, auditory-verbal, and total communication programs. The ideal setting would include a specialist on cochlear implants to be part of the educational team and work with the teachers and other specialists. (Brochure: "Issues…")

If the goal is to help the child learn to listen with the implant than it is important that parents and educators work together. Integrating listening into all aspects of the person’s life is important. This way the person relies on the implant for communication and learning. Parents and professionals should be working towards helping the person generalize the skills into natural contexts or the auditory tasks will not be beneficial to the person. Incidental and structured listening must be a part of implant users daily experiences. Teachers and parents must have consistent expectations throughout each day. (Watkins, 1993, p256-257)

Insights:

It seems to me that if the focus was not on using the child’s listening skills it would be a waste of time to get the implant. I believe that it is up to the family to choose which program is best but I also think they should not be afraid to change their mind if that program is not working for their child. Each child is an individual and what works for one may not work for another.

I think the most important piece of information is that parents and professionals must work together to accomplish the goal!

For More Information:

      (No date). CLARION Frequently Asked Questions. [Online] Available: www.cochlearimplant.com/forum.html [1998, July 17].

Contact Information:

Dawn Powell
Cochlear Implants
617 Walnut Street
Martins Ferry, OH 43935

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