Usually a multidisciplinary cochlear implant team is set up to evaluate, and provide comprehensive care and support to the cochlear implant-candidate children and their families.
The team evaluates the child’s candidacy for the cochlear implant. It also makes assessment of the child’s hearing-health background, speech and language skills and the family support system.
Cochlear implant surgeon studies the history of ailment including the family history. He carries out complete head and neck examination and the ears. A CT scan or MRI of the ears and head are taken. Blood tests, EKG and eye exam is also conducted. These tests are carried out to ascertain the cause of hearing loss and the presence of any other health problems that may impact cochlear implant surgery.
Hearing evaluation is carried out to by the audiologist to test the child’s hearing levels with his hearing aids on. The past audio logical records are reviewed to make an assessment of how the child is adjusting to the hearing aid. The models of the cochlear implant are used to provide education and also counseling of the families.
Speech language pathologist makes an assessment of expressive/receptive language, pronunciation, listening and oral motor skills. This evaluation determines the current speech and language skills and whether the cochlear implant benefits the child. This information can be used subsequently to track and verify progress after the implant.
A psychologist carries out the evaluation of the factors that affect the child’s development and potential success after the cochlear implant. This includes child’s visual learning and development. The occupational therapist makes assessment of the child’s balance and motor abilities and sensory responsiveness to touch and movement.
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