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Cochlear Implant Program

Assessment process

Once you have applied to the Cochlear Implant Program, a number of appointments are needed in order to determine if your child is a candidate for a cochlear implant. The Cochlear Implant Program at the Hospital for Sick Children uses a multidisciplinary team approach when assessing a child's candidacy.

Some of the team members your child may have appointments with include:

Audiologist

Several audiology appointments are usually needed in order to complete a battery of tests, including:

  • pure tone air and bone conduction testing
  • electroacoustic analysis of hearing aids
  • aided soundfield testing
  • otoacoustic emissions
  • evoked auditory brainstem response
  • battery of speech perception tests (including the ESP, TAC, WIPI, etc...)

Speech Language Pathologist

The speech language pathologist will assess your child's language and communication abilities through a number of tests.

Auditory Verbal Therapist/Habilitationist

An auditory verbal therapist works with the hearing-impaired child and their family. During ongoing therapy sessions, the child learns to listen with their hearing aid or cochlear implant in order to develop communication skills. Your audiologist can provide you with more information on how to find an auditory verbal therapist during your assessment process. (See also our links page.)

Surgeon

The surgeon will meet with you to answer your questions about the surgical procedure. See the surgery page for more information about the operation.

Social worker

The social worker may meet with the family when the child's candidacy is being considered. It is an opportunity to discuss expectations, family support and rehabilitation needs. At any time, before or after implantation, a team member or a member of the family may request social work involvement to provide counseling for the family.

Other appointments

Your child will also have an appointment for a CT scan (which is like an X-ray) and an MRI, and may have appointments with a nurse or other healthcare professionals during the assessment process. At present, we are also recommending that all of our patients receive vaccination for meningitis prior to implantation.

Once the assessment process is complete, the Cochlear Implant Program team will meet to discuss whether or not your child is a candidate for cochlear implantation. If your child has been approved, a time frame for surgery will be provided. If a cochlear implant is not recommended for your child, then other options will be discussed.

Please note: You or your child may withdraw from the assessment process at any time.