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Programming, Care, and Troubleshooting of Cochlear Implants for Children

Hedley-Williams, Andrea J. MS; Sladen, Douglas P. MA; Tharpe, Anne Marie PhD

Cochlear Implants in Children: Ideas for Intervention

The proper programming, care, and maintenance ocochlear implants take on added importance when the users are young children. Children may not be able to communicate adequately with caregivers when the device is not functioning properly. As such, it is imperative that educators, interpreters, speech-language pathologists, and other professionals working with children who have cochlear implants in educational settings become familiar and comfortable with the devices and learn to recognize problems. This knowledge can lead to fewer and shorter periods of time when a child is without hearing during critical educational periods. Speech processing strategies, daily maintenance, and more detailed troubleshooting techniques are reviewed.

THE NUMBER of children receiving cochlear implants has increased dramatically over the last decade. The success that these children can reasonably expect to experience with their cochlear implants depends largely upon the ability of the professionals working with them to keep the devices functioning optimally. This article is designed to provide an overview of current cochlear implant technology, programming strategies, troubleshooting, and care techniques to those in the best positions to ensure their effective operation.

Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences (Hedley-Williams) and Vanderbilt University (Sladen and Dr. Tharpe), Nashville, Tenn.

Corresponding author: Andrea Hedley-Williams, MS, Senior Audiologist, Audiology, Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, 1114 19th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.