Hearing people are always hearing, it sounds obvious but even at night when loud sounds interrupt sleep they are still wired to listen and react to sound. Often when children receive their cochlear implants when they are babies or very young, they have had little or no prior experience of listening to spoken language. The child’s initial tuning appointment is day one of their hearing journey. Even if they have been able to hear in the past through their hearing aids or normal hearing, sounds will be very different and it takes time for their brains to adjust to the new signal. If they have never heard sounds before then they will have had no listening experience and will need to develop foundation skills.
If children use their cochlear implants all the time they are awake, they will be maximising the opportunity for hearing language and for language learning. Be aware if your child or the child you support is NOT using his/her processors all of the time both in school and at home, this will limit their progress and affect their ability to develop speech and language through audition.
Generally young children with implants follow a similar route of language learning to their hearing peers, assuming they have good access to sound via their cochlear implants. However, they will often reach milestones later.
- What are the communication options for a child with a cochlear implant?
- What factors are important to consider in the early stages after implantation?
- How to support a child with a cochlear implant with language development in pre-school.
- Understanding the importance of social interaction.
- What resources are available to support pre-school staff?