Great Expectations: Progress with a Cochlear Implant

Like any big decision, getting a cochlear implant involves just a little bit of a leap of faith.  No matter how much you research, there is no way to know 100% what will happen with the surgery, activation, or rehabilitation.  By and large, results are fantastic, but how can you know what to expect for your/your child’s speech, language, and listening progress?  Regardless of the individual candidate’s circumstances, a few rules apply across all situations: It’s All About the Brain, It’s All About Time, and It’s All About the Therapy.

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Insurance Coverage for Auditory Verbal Therapy

In the United States, there are significant differences in insurance coverages from state to state, and even between plans from different insurance carriers.  This information is intended to be a general overview with tips that may help in your particular insurance situation.

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Mapping a Cochlear Implant

Mapping (or MAPping) is the term for programming a cochlear implant to the specifications and needs of its user.  While any cochlear implant user, or parent, caregiver, or family member of a CI user, has probably attended countless mapping appointments with an audiologist, the process is often confusing or poorly understood.

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Difficult Listening Situations

The first steps to listening well are:

  1. a well-programmed hearing aid or Baha and/or well-MAPped cochlear implant(s)

  2. therapy (auditory training, aural (re)habilitation, Auditory-Verbal Therapy) from a qualified profressional

  3. practice, practice, practice

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Telephone Practice

Being able to use the telephone represents both independence and connection for people with hearing loss.  It means being able to make calls for work without assistance, being able to give and receive information, and being able to make emotional connections with friends and family from miles away.  Learning, or re-learning, to use the phone with a CI may be difficult, but it is not an impossible task.  With practice, many cochlear implant recipients report success in using the telephone.  Here are some ways you can, too!

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Costa Rica 2010: Tuesday

We began our trip today at Centeno, a school for deaf children in Costa Rica that uses sign language. The school is just one department on the campus of the Center for Inclusive Education in CR. I’m not so sure what they mean by “inclusive,” though, because it was a school of all deaf children, across the street was a school for all blind children, and next door was a school for all children who had developmental disabilities. Inclusive? Not quite. Maybe it’s because they the children at this school are “included” in education at all, but it was a very sad thing.

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AG Bell 2008: Sunday Concurrent Sessions


So this might not have been the most informative session I attended all weekend, but it was certainly the most enjoyable!  “Love Happens” was a panel discussion led by three couples, all of whom met at or through AG Bell.  They told the adorable stories of how they met and how their shared interests and commitment to volunteer activities through AG Bell have strengthened their relationships through the years.  One couple’s daughter became a Speech-Language Pathologist, and another couple has two deaf children of their own.  The session was full of laughter — what a great way to wake up early on a Sunday morning!

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