Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant is a special type of hearing aid. It is an electronic device that is surgically implanted and it provides stimulation directly to the auditory nerve. It is a medical procedure.

Children with sever to profound hearing loss can be assessed by a specialist multi-disciplinary team to see if they are suitable for a cochlear implant.

Children who suffer a sudden loss of hearing through trauma or meningitis can also be assessed by a specialist multi-disciplinary team.

Some Speech and Language Therapists have extra specialist qualifications to work with deaf children e.g. Auditory Verbal Therapy Approach

Children with a cochlear implant need to learn to listen and understand sound.

The difficulties experienced by children when they first receive an implant can include –

  • Difficulties with learning to listen and use hearing
  • Difficulties with understanding what sounds mean
  • Problems with understanding speech
  • Difficulties developing age appropriate speech, language and literacy skills
  • Difficulties with producing speech sounds


Speech and Language Therapists can help these difficulties by –

  • Being part of and /or liaising with the multi-disciplinary team
  • Being a  link with the multi-disciplinary team and the child’s nursery and school
  • Liaising with the Teachers of The Deaf
  • Providing on-going assessment and monitoring of all aspects of communication
  • Providing specific work on listening skills and speech
  • Providing expertise on the understanding and use of verbal language
  • Helping provide family focused therapy where parents are the main facilitators for communication
  • Advising parents on specific and appropriate activities to continue with at home

Last updated: January 26th, 2018