Cochlear Implants for children

Is a cochlear implant right for my child?

Your GP, audiologist or ENT consultant will be able to tell you if your child’s hearing loss is appropriate for referral to a cochlear implant programme and arrange the referral. They will refer to guidelines published by NICE.

You can view an explanation of the NICE guidance here:

If your child is referred to us, a multidisciplinary team of professionals will work with you and your child to carry out a detailed assessment of their hearing and communication needs. This will help to establish if cochlear implant(s) are right for your child and give you an idea about the level of likely benefits for them. 

Benefits and limitations of cochlear implants

Although cochlear implants cannot restore normal hearing, nearly everyone who has the operation gains an increased ability to hear sounds and voices. Outcomes range from an increased awareness of everyday sounds through to a full understanding of spoken language. 

The eventual outcome depends on a wide variety of factors such as:

  • age and duration of hearing loss
  • cause and history of hearing loss
  • health and medical conditions
  • learning, motivation and support

Patient stories

As part of the decision making process, you will be encouraged to meet other families with children who have had cochlear implants so that you can discuss the benefits and challenges that may be involved. 

You can also view videos of some or our patients and their parents talking about their experience with cochlear implants.

After the operation: The Outreach Support Team

Listening through a cochlear implant is very different to normal hearing or hearing through a hearing aid; the child will need time to get used to how it sounds. In addition to programming appointments, children will receive support and visits from our Outreach Support Team. They work with the family, carers and local professionals to help develop the child’s listening skills and monitor their progress.

This may be in any of the following ways:

  • regular outreach visits to the family and nursery/school with written feedback
  • appointments at Ropewalk House.
  • Telemedicine/Teletharapy appointments using video link via a computer, phone or tablet. Click here for more information about teletherapy
  • telephone calls, texts and emails.

Visits are most frequent during the first year after implantation but support and monitoring continues with regular visits over the first five years. After that, families can always contact us if they have any concerns or queries.