Programming and Rehabilitation (children)

The surgery (the operation itself) is only one part of fitting a cochlear implant. The external parts of the implant have to be fitted and programmed and the child or young person has to learn how to use it. This page contains information about what happens in the weeks and months following the operation.

Paediatric ProgrammingOperation
Following the operation parents are advised that children will need about two weeks away from nursery or school. The external parts of the cochlear implant will be fitted approximately one month after the operation to allow the site of the surgery to heal.

The Centre maintains close contact with the family through programming appointments with the Clinical Scientist and rehabilitation support with the Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) at the centre and visits made to home and school by the Teacher of the Deaf (TOD).

Initial Programming
This takes place at the Centre. The external parts of the cochlear implant are fitted by the Clinical Scientist. The programming of the speech processor is started. It is important to note that this will be the first of many programming sessions before the processor is set up optimally. The child may not respond to sound for weeks or indeed months.

Programming & Assessment
Over the following months and years programming continues. The total number of appointments depends upon each child or young person. Gradually they will adapt to each new listening experience Hearing tests will be completed on a regular basis.

Control BoxRehabilitation & Assessment
The week following the initial programming the TOD visits both home and school to provide information for all carers involved and to offer immediate support. The TOD is usually the ‘key worker’ for the child. Over 5 years the TOD will offer a number of visits supporting the child. The SLT will offer a number of appointments at the centre. These appointments will be to assess your child’s speech and language development and to give advice and support for these developing skills.

Annual Review Clinic
The family is offered medial consultations at twelve months post implant and when required. Annual assessments are also completed by the Clinical Scientist, Teacher of the Deaf and Speech and Language Therapist up to five years post implant. Maintenance of equipment and medical support is provided for life.