Cochlear Implant Program

Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program at Hasbro Children's Hospital

Research indicates that children who receive cochlear implants at a young age can, with proper therapy, achieve spoken language skills commensurate with same age peers with normal hearing.

Pre-Implant Process

The following evaluations are performed before your child receives cochlear implants. Additional testing will be referred as needed.

  • Audiological Evaluations. The audiologist will assess hearing sensitivity and auditory function using appropriate test methods.

  • Hearing Aid Evaluations. The audiologist will measure the ear canal, take mold impressions and recommend hearing aids and strategies to help your child hear.

  • Hearing Aid Fitting, Trial and Follow Up. The audiologist will program hearing aids and take measurements. Regular follow up visits are made to check the hearing aids and answer questions regarding the aural (re)habilitation process.

  • Audiological Speech Perception Testing. The audiologist will test your child's awareness of sounds and speech understanding to establish a baseline and to monitor auditory skills progress.

  • Medical Evaluations. The otolaryngologist will examine your child to determine the cause of his/her hearing loss.

  • CT Scan/MRI. The otolaryngologist will determine if your child meets the medical criteria for cochlear implantation.

  • Speech and Language Evaluation. The speech-language pathologist will evaluate your child's communication profile and help define expectations for speech and language skills.

  • Developmental Assessments. The developmental pediatrician will evaluate your child's cognitive abilities, motor skills, communication/language skills, social skills and self-help/adaptive skills. Testing can include criterion-referenced measures, rating scales, and norm referenced measures using parent report, teacher report and direct observation.

  • Genetic Testing. Genetic factors play a role in over 50% of all childhood hearing impairment. Genetic testing can help identify the cause of hearing loss, predict whether it will worsen, help with treatment decisions, and assure caregivers that no other problems associated with syndromic forms of hearing loss will develop. Genetic testing can also help predict the likelihood that future children will develop hearing loss. Most genetic tests are performed on DNA obtained from a blood or tissue sample.

Post-Implant Process

  • Mapping. In the beginning, mapping visits are weekly. Sounds are made louder or softer to achieve clarity and audibility as your child's ear, nerve and brain adjust to the cochlear implant.

  • Audiological Monitoring. After implantation, we will continue to evaluate your child's ability to hear sounds, sound patterns, word recognition and overall speech perception.

  • Speech and Language Re-evaluations. A re-assessment of your child's skills is completed after the first 6 months, and annually thereafter, to assess progress with cochlear implants and assist in educational and therapeutic planning.

  • Aural Rehabilitation/Speech and Language Therapy. Intense therapeutic services are necessary to help your child acquire auditory skills necessary to detect and process sound and derive meaning from the spoken language, as well as develop spoken language.

  • Intensive Weekly Therapy. For children who receive implants at an early age, an intensive auditory training program is recommended to maximize the child's benefit with their cochlear implant. Each session involves direct therapy, as well as parent education and training.

  • Short-Term Therapy. This is for families who travel a long distance. The goal of therapy is to provide the parent with information about habilitation and how to focus on auditory goals in daily life.

  • Customized Therapy. The speech-language pathologist and parents coordinate other therapy options, such as sign language, therapy for previous non-users of cochlear implants, assistance transitioning from manual to oral communication options or traditional services for children with expressive communication difficulties/motor speech difficulties.

  • Parent Training. Parent training is a very important part of therapy. Each therapy session provides guidance and coaches parents to create environments that support listening for the acquisition of spoken language through the child's daily activities using natural developmental patterns.

We offer the Hanen Program. It Takes Two to Talk, a family-focused program for parents with young children who have communication difficulties. Through a combination of group sessions and individual consultation using videotaping It Takes Two to Talk helps parents learn how to create and take advantage of everyday opportunities to improve their child’s communication and language development.

Contact Us

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call our program coordinator, Deb Carter, at 401-626-3743.