The process of getting a hearing implant for your child may seem daunting, and you will have questions, however the result can be very rewarding. The steps you take for your child can help make all the difference for learning, growing and becoming independent throughout life. You will have a support team including your child's audiologist and speech therapist along the way, and we'll be there for your family as well.
Your child's hearing will need to be evaluated by a Hearing Implant Specialist to determine if the level of hearing loss qualifies for a hearing implant. There will be medical and audiological assessments, including X-ray scans and possibly an MRI to help determine whether a hearing implant could be a solution for your child. If your child qualifies, the hearing implant team will discuss benefits and risks with your family and schedule the surgery once insurance approval is obtained.
Unlike hearing aids, hearing implants may be covered by your insurance plan, including Medicaid. Consult with your insurance company as soon as possible regarding eligibility of coverage for your child, as well as your estimated out-of-pocket expenses.
Your child’s audiologist will help you through this process. He or she will submit the necessary paperwork to the insurance company on your behalf.
All hearing implants are designed to restore access to sound, yet there are noticeable differences between devices. With so many options, choosing which device is right for your child is bound to be difficult. Your considerations should go beyond the product, which could advance many times over your child’s life. You will want to consider the company and track record to help you decide the best lifetime partner for your child.
The idea of surgery can be intimidating, especially for your child. Fortunately, hearing implant procedures are fairly routine, typically lasting a couple of hours (cochlear implant) or less (bone conduction implant) and performed under general anesthesia. The risks of the implant surgery are low, and most children are back to their normal activities within a few days.
To provide you with added peace of mind, go to Cochlear Connections to find other parents who have been through this exact same experience. They will often tell you that the worries they had themselves about the surgery were greatly diminished by the hope and benefits that the hearing implant would provide for their child.
This is the moment your family has been waiting for. After the recommended healing period (2-4 weeks for a cochlear implant and 12 weeks for a bone conduction implant), you’ll visit your child’s audiologist to receive the sound processor. They’ll adjust the settings to match your child’s needs and show you how it all works. And that’s it. Your child will be ready to start the journey to better hearing.
Tip for cochlear implant families:
How well your child hears at this first visit will vary depending on length and degree of hearing loss.
Over the next several months after activation/fitting, your child will have a series of appointments with the audiologist to adjust and fine tune the sound processor's programs to help ensure optimal hearing performance.
You will also need to follow the guidelines provided for care and maintenance, which vary based on device. We offer many "how to" videos on myCochlear, and our Customer Service team can help answer questions you may have.
Tip for cochlear implant families:
Just as with any surgery, rehabilitation (both at home and with your child’s audiologist) is critical to his or her hearing progress and success. That’s why we offer robust and easy-to-use rehabilitation programs through The Communication Corner Opens in new window that can be tailored to your child’s needs at every learning level.