If you have a child or teenager starting or considering a cochlear implant, this part of the website is for you and your family. It explains the whole cochlear implant process for children and young people.
There are three steps involved in cochlear implantation. These steps are:
- assessment – working out if a cochlear implant is right for you
- operation – fitting the cochlear implant
- programming and rehabilitation – getting the implant working and then helping the wearer to use it well.
Referrals are accepted from relevant Health Care Professionals. Supporting information is requested from local agencies. An information package is sent to the family.
Each child is assessed thoroughly by the multi-disciplinary team working in partnership with local professionals. Click on the the service to find out more about what they do…
Hearing Assessments are completed by the Audiologists and hearing aid benefit is assessed. A hearing aid trial may be needed. During this appointment an overview of the assessment process is given and the next step is explained.
The Speech and Language Therapists will see your child at the Listening for Life Centre for their baseline appointment(s). This typically involves taking a brief case history and discussing your child’s current communication skills.
The YAIS Teachers of the Deaf will contact your local teacher of the deaf as soon as a referral to YAIS is received.
The YAIS SLTs and ToDs work closely together sharing information and observations.
The stages in the assessment process are explained below:
Your child’s hearing will be assessed using the most age appropriate testing method. Most of the test are elicited through a play activity, but at times it may be necessary to perform a more structured or objective test. The clinician will talk you through the testing and any results obtained in the session can usually be discussed at the end of the appointment. every child is different & sometimes it takes a few appointments before we obtain all the information we need to make the best decision for your child.
Home and School visits
The YAIS ToD will arrange to visit you and your child at home/or setting, depending on their age, along with your local teacher of the deaf. They will observe your child’s listening in the home and/or setting and you and your local teacher can share recent observations too. If your child is in school or nursery, the YAIS ToD will ask a key worker for observations on your child’s hearing and listening. Depending on the age of your child, the teacher of the deaf may complete some more formal listening assessments with your child. Our aim is to undestand as much as possible about your child’s hearing and listening in the “real world”.
The clinic appointment is a chance to meet a Consultant ENT surgeon for a medical assessment and further discussion of the a Cochlear Implant. The Consultant will review your child’s medical history and you will have a chance to ask questions directly. It is unlikely any invasive procedures would happen at this appointment. The consultant will discuss which necessary tests (including scans and blood tests) might need to be performed, and a separate appointment for these will be made.
Meet another CI family!
Family Meetings are arranged where the parents of the child being assessed are encouraged to meet with a family of a child who already has a cochlear implant. If appropriate this may happen earlier in the assessment. Workshops are also held at the Centre for families going through the assessment process.
Scans of the inner ear are done at Bradford Royal Infirmary. The family is sent an appointment approximately 2 weeks prior to the scan. A young child is usually given a general anaesthetic and the procedure is performed as a day case.
Cochlear Implant Decision and Offer If it is decided by the Team that the child could benefit from a cochlear implant then the offer is made to the family. The Parents Agreement is discussed to ensure that each family is aware of the commitment required.
If the Team decide that the child would not gain significant benefit from a cochlear implant this is discussed with the family and the reasons behind this decision are fully explained at a clinic appointment. This may happen at any stage in the assessment. The local professionals are also informed of the outcome with suggestions offered for the ongoing support of the child.
Pre-op & Consent
Pre-operative assessment and Consent are completed at the centre. This is completed with the ENT Consultant Surgeon. Final information is exchanged, and understanding of the possible risks of surgery are checked. Pre-operative assessment is arranged on the same day where possible.
The Operation usually takes 2 – 5 hours. The hospital stay is usually overnight although some day cases are now also being carried out if approrpiate for the patient. A post-operative X-Ray is done before discharge. During this time the family is supported by the Team.