Cochlear Implant??

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-17-2008
Cochlear Implant??
Thu, 05-01-2008 - 3:38pm
Does anyone else have a child with a cochlear implant? My son is now 3 1/2 years old and has had his implant since he was 15 months old. I would love to talk with someone else who has been through this or is currently.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 05-13-2008 - 10:25pm
I am a teacher-person turned reluctant administrator. I wanted to thank Johnky for reiterating that the CI is a device, not a "fix." I am not downplaying what people are able to do with these devices. I was also happy to see the message about the work (therapy) involved with learning to listen and speak, even given the sensory information provided by the cochlear implant. I, too, saw the Hallmark movie with Marlee Maitlin and Jeff Bridges. Personally, I thought the "Deaf Community" take on CIs was oversimplified. And the movie left me wanting more. It felt incomplete - unfinished, really. However, it was interesting, the conflict that the mother (Maitlin) had, once she discovered that she was born HoH and was never given hearing aids. It would have been nice to see that develop a bit more. Sorry... rambling... I will leave the advice to the mommies here - they are the experts, after all. Experience is the best teacher.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2007
Sat, 05-10-2008 - 11:24pm

I am not a child.



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2008
Sun, 05-04-2008 - 12:51pm

I'd be happy to share with you. My son, Ethan, was born full term, without any apparent problems. He failed his newborn screening, but we were told not to be terribly concerned because many babies do, however, then he failed the follow-up screening at 2 weeks. At 6 weeks he had a full abr (auditory brainstem response test)and we were told that he couldn't hear - he fell into the severe-profound range of impairment. At 7 weeks, we had hearing aids on him and at 10 weeks we were at a cochlear implant center. I think I always knew that Ethan would need a cochlear implant (I tend to totally immerse myself in information, anecdotes, etc. so I can make decisions -- the only way I could figure out how to help my baby was to figure out everything I could on all options available and go from there) A cochlear implant seemed to be his best shot at giving him a "normal" childhood/life. His hearing loss is sensineural (meaning the nerves in his inner ear are either damaged or nonexistent) -- we have no family history of hearing loss.

So...we started therapy at about 12 weeks (in all honesty, it was more about teaching us ways to interact with him and the best ways to build language)at the same time; because of his abr results, we were in our "hearing aid trial" period. At 6 1/2 months we got the go ahead from the team to get an implant. That was wonderful news! However, our health insurance didn't agree and I spent the next couple of months collecting data and fighting them. Luckily, our employer stepped in and paved the way for a different insurance provider to cover us and then the implant. So at 10 months Ethan got his implant, 4 weeks later he was "turned on".

Then the work really started (multiple therapy sessions a week), we really had to work with Ethan to teach him to develop speech and language. At age 3, he received a second implant -- he was one of the first kids in our area to have bilateral implants.

Fast forward to today -- Ethan is doing just fantastic -- and I don't mean fantastic for a child with a hearing loss - I mean truly fantastic. He is 7 and just about to finish 1st grade. At age 2 and 1/2 he was fully caught up for speech and language and at 3 he entered pre-school just like any other child. He started kindergarten at age 5 and is doing really well in 1st grade. He does use an FM system for school, but not at any other time. We frequently hear from people who haven't met him -- "we had no idea that he can't hear normally". His audiograms show that he hears within normal ranges (i.e.he falls below the 20db mark) and when we do testing he consistently scores 95% or above in quiet settings and 86-90% in noisy settings. In fact when he was younger, he used to correct his little brother's speech (his brother has normal hearing)!

Thanks for listening to me brag on my baby -- I really am proud of him.

Here's some things that you should know about your son --
He's going to be fine! He may have to work a little harder at first (but being a preemie -- he's already used to that), but his hearing impairment won't stand in his way.
The surgery for cochlear implants is really not as scary as it sounds, and the recovery is super quick (at ten months, Ethan was playing outside the same day and on day two, if you couldn't see the incision, you never would have known he had anything done At age three, he had a slightly rougher time (the anesthesia made him sick), but he was still up playing with his trains and stuff the next day)

Get comfortable with the speech and language pathologists and audiologists and doctors and make sure your son likes them as well -- you'll be spending a lot of time with them. Ask questions, as many as you have, as many times as you need to. Our doctor still teases me about all the questions that I asked (lovingly, I'm sure :).

Please ask as many questions of me as you need. While I am no expert in the sciences, I do have first hand experience. Again, some things may be slightly different for you with Auditory Neuropathy as opposed to sensineural hearing loss, but hopefully I can still help you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2008
Sun, 05-04-2008 - 8:25am

Hi there

My son Maclain is 6 1/2 months old ( corrected) and has been diagnosed with Auditory Neuropathy. We are now part of the cochlear implant assesment program at Sick Kids. He is getting hearing aides in June to see how he does with those and an MRI on May 27th to check his nerve etc

His loss is severe/profound


Mom to Chase 11-20-2005  ( and he lives up to his name)  and Maclain 08-02-2007 born 10 weeks early

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2008
Fri, 05-02-2008 - 9:53pm
I have a seven year old son who has cochlear implants. He received his first one when he was ten months old -- they truly are miracle devices. Did you have any specific questions?