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Post operative visits

Habilitation/Rehabilitation Programme

  • Initial follow-up care

In the early period just after the device is switched on, children will be seen fortnightly for individual therapy. In these sessions, focus will be on learning to use the new device and learning the fundamentals of listening. The therapy is focused on the family, not just on the child, and the parent is an active member of the therapy sessions. A decision will be made about which type of therapy package to offer in the early days following implantation. Most children are seen fortnightly: once for group therapy and once for individual therapy.

  • Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is generally offered once a month in the first two years of implant use. If needed, it will be offered more frequently. Individual therapy allows families to discuss their child's own progress and learn about ways to help their child continue to develop. The therapy is family-centered which means that the parents are an active participant in the therapy session. Parents are expected to work with the child at home to supplement and continue to therapy during daily activities.

  • Auditory-Verbal Therapy

Auditory-Verbal Therapy (or A-VT) is a unique and specific therapy technique that is especially suitable for children who have received cochlear implants. The focus of A-VT is to help deaf children develop spoken language skills via normal auditory development. Parents are the primary caregivers and are thus trained to be the primary "therapist" for their child. For more information about A-VT, please visit www.auditory-verbal.com. The Manchester Cochlear Implant Programme is fortunate to have one of the few Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapists in the country as its Co-ordinator and therapy that is performed at the centre follows the A-V framework and philosophy.

Following the implant, children must learn to listen with their new device. For some children, this process will happen quite naturally, but for others, a significant amount of therapy will be required. These issues will be discussed with the family prior to implantation and families will be aware of what to expect in their child's case prior to surgery.

Mapping follow-up

  • Initial Activation

Two to three weeks after surgery, the external equipment is fitted and the device is switched on for the first time. This is an exciting day for families since as it is the first time the child will hear through the implant. This visit generally takes about two hours. The first half of the visit is spent programming the device. During the second half of the visit, the family is instructed on device use and care and issued the equipment they will need. At the initial visit, the Audiologist will decide on what further visits are required and schedule them accordingly.

  • Initial mapping sessions

Over the first three months of implant use, the device will be programmed several times. The exact number of appointments will vary on an individual basis, but most children are seen once or twice a month during the initial period. The purpose of these sessions is to create an appropriate programme for the child which allows them to hear all the sounds of speech but which is comfortable for them to use.

  • Regular mapping sessions

After the initial period of device use, children will be seen regularly for programming. Generally, they are seen three months after activation, six months after activation, one year after activation and annually after that. At these mapping sessions, all equipment will be checked, measurements of the internal device will be performed to ensure it is working to specification, and a new programme will be created for the child to maximize their hearing potential. Soundfield hearing tests will also be performed to ensure that sound is being heard across the speech frequencies.

  • Additional programming sessions

If there are any concerns about a child's progress, either from the family, school or the cochlear implant programme, they may be scheduled more frequently for programming sessions. Sessions may be added whenever they are needed.

Liason with local services

The process of receiving a cochlear implant involves many different professionals, both within and outside the cochlear implant team. A great deal of information is shared between the cochlear implant team and local professionals such as teachers of the deaf, local audiologists, paediatricians, local ENT consultants and speech and language therapists.

School/Home visits

In the first two years of implant use, school visits are generally offered at least once a term for school-aged children in the programme who require them. They are offered more frequently if necessary. We are also able to offer home visits for information sessions prior to implantation and therapy following implantation to families who require this assistance. These visits are decided with the family on a case by case basis.