Speech Language Therapy for Children with Cochlear Implants

Child with Hearing ImpairmentThe field of cochlear implant technology is relatively new and is advancing rapidly to provide children with profound hearing loss with unprecedented ability to access the listening environment. Young children are excellent candidates for cochlear implantation, and most learn to hear conversation (without lip–reading) and to use spoken language for communication. According to The Children’s Hearing Institute:

Children implanted early, who do not have other significant developmental disabilities, and when coupled with intensive post-implantation speech language therapy, may acquire age appropriate speech, language, developmental and social skills.

An array of educational and therapeutic services is available to help cochlear implant children to acquire age–appropriate speech, language, developmental and social skills. A team approach, often coordinated by a Teacher of the Deaf, is essential to help each child reach his or her optimal speech, language, and educational skill level.

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Speech Language Therapy

There are many therapies available to address learning and communication for children with hearing impairment. With the advent of the cochlear implant, interest is growing in providing auditory learning environments to maximize the child’s use of hearing as a primary modality.

  • Auditory Verbal Therapy is a specialized type of speech therapy for children, designed to teach a child to use the hearing provided by a hearing aid or a cochlear implant for understanding speech and learning to talk. Certified Auditory–Verbal therapists are trained to provide therapy sessions, train parents and manage educational services. The ultimate goal is to develop hearing as an active sense so that listening becomes an integral part of the child’s development.
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PROMPT® Therapy may be recommended as part of the intervention process because:

  1. A child with a cochlear implant may have difficulty with the development of speech production skills. While many children with cochlear implants, especially those who are implanted at an early age, learn to speak without additional intervention, others may have a concomitant motor speech disorder.
  2. A child with a cochlear implant may have impaired auditory processing systems and therefore benefit significantly from the pairing of tactile-kinesthetic input with information derived from auditory and visual modalities.
  3. Tactual input, provided through PROMPT therapy sessions, guides movements of the oral musculature to provide information required for improved phoneme production and motor sequencing skills.

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Clinical Note: A

A was referred to the practice at age 4 years by the Cochlear Implant Team at New York University Hospital because of poor speech intelligibility. She presented with deficits in both motor planning and linguistic processing systems. Conversational speech was difficult to understand without the benefit of a shared context. With the participation of A’s family and professional team, A has succeeded in achieving a high level of motor control and coordination at the sentence level...  Learn More

Child with Hearing Impairment

Donna Lederman, Speech-Language Pathologist, P.C.
Call Today: Nassau: 516.746.2090  |  Suffolk: 631.486.6916