Getting Cochlear Implants
If your child's hearing loss is severe to profound, your ENT or hearing professionals will recommend you get cochlear implants to unlock hearing for your child.
For a time Johann was wearing hearing aids in his right ear despite being with severe hearing loss. But over time, through annual monitoring, his hearing loss has progressed to profound, and even with hearing aids he cannot hear the sounds on a high frequency any more - /s/ and /h/.
Here is how we went through the experience when we were recommended to get him cochlear implants.
Speak to hearing professionals. We clarified with our ENT the best option for our son and the pros and cons of a CI from a professional viewpoint. We also went to meet our would-be surgeon to hear firsthand about how a CI surgery goes and if there are anything to be wary of. Then our audiologist explained to us about the sounds Johann needs to hear for clear speech and how CI can help.
Research your best option. Talk to the accounts officers of cochlear implant distributors. Listen to them and their packages, what their product can offer best and weight it against what you and your child need.
Decide as a family. Or whoever is your team of trusted individuals that are vested upon your child's hearing success. They will be your support group through this and you need to make sure you all are on board the same boat. You know your child best and you as a parent, have aspirations for them in the future, so as young as they are, you will be making that choice for them, and you want to make sure it is the best one.
Start the process. You will usually be asked for a deposit to get a surgery schedule and some offer payment options because a CI device ain't cheap. So no matter how you get to that deposit, we recommend you act and start the ball rolling. Remember, every moment of hearing counts for your child to develop speech accordingly.
Follow through. Getting through the process of having a CI for your child doesn't stop when you have done surgery. After surgery you will have a switch on and then regular mapping, plus speech therapy to help your child get accustomed to a new way of hearing. And its very important that you support your child by following through this process.
As your child grows up and you see them hitting milestone after milestone when it comes to their hearing and speech, you will look back and remember the days of being uncertain and just be grateful that you took the CI option for them.