15 May Why Rehabilitation is Necessary For Your Child After Cochlear Implant Surgery
Over just the past 5 to 10 years, hearing technology has advanced dramatically. Devices are more functional, easy to use and work well with the way we live.
But unlike so many devices that we simply welcome and incorporate into our lives like smart phones and activity trackers, cochlear implants will drastically change your child’s life — for the better.
This change is accompanied with many challenges, misunderstandings and difficulties. Each child as a unique and special individual will experience this change differently. That’s why it’s crucial that your child receive cochlear implant rehabilitation once he/she has been implanted. In this short article, we’ll explain why.
Reaching Full Hearing Potential
Hearing is a complex sense. You don’t just turn it off and on. If you have never heard the wind or a car horn or a voice, or further yet, a combination of all 3, how would you learn to distinguish and understand these sounds. Rehab helps a child reach his/her full hearing potential in less time by introducing him/her to sounds in a controlled setting.
Implants aren’t enough
Hearing is one thing. Understanding is quite another. From birth, a hearing child develops communication skills and auditory perceptual skills. A child who has just received a cochlear implant will need to learn these communication skills and auditory perceptual subtleties to both listen and communicate with the world around.
The child will need to learn to manage the implant to maximize results. That’s what cochlear implant rehabilitation is all about.
Matching Speechreading with Sounds
All of us, as hearing individuals, read lips to some extent. Doing so helps us keep the conversation going even when it’s difficult to hear; however, not all information can be obtained through lip reading. Prior to cochlear implantation, a child who is deaf or has profound hearing loss will be highly dependent on speechreading, as he/she is not able to gain enough information through auditory skills alone.
Now that he/she has been fitted with a cochlear implant, the child will need to learn to associate new words to what he/she is hearing and combine auditory skills with already developed lip reading skills. In cochlear implant rehabilitation, a therapist works with the child to make those connections.
Professional information and Support
Rehab allows the child and parent to spend time in a supportive setting, where they can ask questions, learn, observe and understand.
Your child will need a lot of love and understanding as he/she learns how to manage the implant, develop listening skills, and learns to expand his/her communication skills. You’ll want to get family and friends involved. When everyone’s working together, your child can experience maximum success and benefit from the implant.
Developing Communications Strategies
Your child may struggle with listening in the presence of background noise or with talking on the telephone. Loud noises can also be bothersome. Just like all of us, your child will need to develop strategies to deal with various noises and situations in order to focus on what’s important. This can be a very frustrating or can even be a frightening process for a child who previously could not hear.
In rehab a child can be introduced to various stimuli in a controlled setting and can work with a cochlear implant rehabilitation therapist to develop these skills. His/her unique needs will be addressed and programs individually designed to help him/her achieve the greatest results.
Cochlear Implant Rehabilitation Means Better Results For Your Child
As with all new things, a learning curve exists with hearing. A cochlear implant rehabilitation therapist will help your child reach his/her full potential, working through the frustration, misunderstanding and helping your child experience the joy and freedom of the hearing world.
If your child will be receiving cochlear implants, it’s time to find a compassionate and skilled speech language pathologist trained to provide cochlear implant rehabilitation specifically for children and their unique needs. Contact Bliss Speech and Hearing Services in Dallas, TX Today to set up an appointment.