3 reasons why the evidence says the earlier you implant your child – the better.
Cochlear implants are devices that can restore hearing in individuals who are profoundly deaf and would not benefit from hearing aids. Since first becoming available in the 1990s, the average age of implantation for profoundly deaf children has slowly decreased. New studies from Melbourne, Australia have shown compelling evidence that the earlier your profoundly deaf child receives a cochlear implant, the better their spoken language skills will be.
- Early intervention: A study by the University of Melbourne compared the language skills of children at kindergarten entry by the age of implantation. The children who received implants before the age of 12 months scored better on every test, and within range of their normally developing peers.
- Minimize and Stabilize Language Delays: Children with cochlear implants can complete one year’s worth of language growth each year. However, if they already had a language delay prior to implantation, the delay will neither worsen or improve, but should stabilize. Children who are implanted prior to six months will have minimal language delays and will reach language milestones at the same time as typically developing children.
- Better Results: For those children who received cochlear implants before one year of age, typically only required speech therapy once a month, compared to once a week for children who received cochlear implants later. Despite receiving less intensive therapy, the children who were implanted before one year of age performed better in various language tests. Thus, resulting in less time off of work for parents allowing for a more efficient and effective therapy plan.
Researched and written by Laura Klein, Champlain Valley Audiology Summer 2018 Intern.
For more information on how Champlain Valley Audiology can provide hearing help to your child, please give us a call at 518-324-5705 or follow us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/CVAudiology/
Smith, J., Wolfe, J., & Dettman, S. (June 2018). Compelling Evidence Supports Early Implantation. The Hearing Journal, 71(6), 36-38. doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000538934. 17129.d3