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As cochlear implant candidacy criteria have changed over time, so have the populations that may benefit from its use. Today, children with other developmental delays in addition to hearing loss are being considered for implantation; their communication goals may be very different from a typically developing child who has the diagnosis of hearing loss. This is an important consideration and expectations for outcome with a cochlear implant should be discussed with the family and CI team and educational team.

Recommendations may include:

  • Cued Speech
  • Sign language
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Other visual support to aid in independent communication.

Working on listening skills is important and should be a strong part of habilitation. The goal is for each child to achieve his or her communicative potential. This may mean including some form of visual communication to aid sound through the implant.