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Working Together: The Cochlear Implant Team By Wendy B. Potts and Jamy C. Archer T he people that walk through our doors have hopes for better communication. They are people with hearing loss. They come looking for the plethora of benefits a cochlear implant (CI) can offer. However these benefits don’t come easily; they are based on the efforts of a team of professionals and the client. The team approach to cochlear implantation is crucial to the success of the recipient. With the combined skills of the team, the recipient is not alone to navigate the often difficult road. Without the guidance of the team the recipient may flounder at the first bump in the road. The team surrounds the recipient with support and resources to enable the client to achieve the very highest potential. The recipient is the most important member of the team and is the base from which all plans are established. The goal of any cochlear implant team should be to improve the quality of life of their clients through better communication. The cochlear implant device can accomplish that goal. But the device itself is not enough. Sound stimulation is achieved with the cochlear implant, but that is only the first step. For example, the USC Cochlear Implant Team (CI Team) uses the cochlear implant as a foundation and each team member provides the recipient with different means and methods necessary to achieve better communication, building the recipient’s confidence along the way. districts in our state who teach the children with cochlear implants. We keep in constant contact with teachers ensuring a collaborative effort to achieve educational goals. Vocational rehabilitation is also a tremendous help for adults with cochlear implants to get back to work successfully. Cochlear Implant Candidacy Many factors are involved in determining a client’s candidacy for CI. First, the CI Team attempts to discover patient factors likely to impact the ability to attain meaningful use of sound with an implant. The candidate is the center of the team, providing information on hearing and communication history, medical status, family support, expectations, and commitment to the cochlear implant process. Without full candidate participation and realistic expectations, the CI Team cannot ascertain a prognosis for functional communication and create a plan for treatment. Factors for Communication Success with the Cochlear Implant Include: • Family support for developing auditory behavior and commitment to the cochlear implant process at home • Time, availability, and distance from the CI Team • Appropriate expectations for communication abilities with the cochlear implant • Choice of auditory-verbal/ oral mode of communication • Educational support for children in school • An auditory memory of spoken language • The ability to benefit to some degree from a hearing aid previously • Duration of deafness • Average cognitive skills for age and good attention skills The Professionals Will I be able to listen to my wife again? Will I be able to hear my children? Will my son be able to talk to me and hear me say “I love you”? These are just some of the questions that cochlear implant candidates ask our team every day at the University of South Carolina (USC) Speech and Hearing Research Center. 20 Hearing Loss Magazine Our multidisciplinary cochlear implant team provides support on many fronts. Medically, our cochlear implant surgeon manages and treats hearing loss using advanced medical and surgical techniques. Audiologists specially trained in cochlear implants work with candidates and recipients by providing the best access to sound possible through hearing aids, CI, and other assistive listening devices. Our speechlanguage pathologists are certified in auditory-verbal therapy as well as the provision of bilingual therapy (if necessary) for the Hispanic population. We have good rapport with the school

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hearing Loss Nov Dec 2009

Hearing Loss Nov Dec 2009

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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/G15179_Nxtbook2
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/g14434_hlaa_mayjune2010
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/G13492_hlaa_converted
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/G12794HLAA_JanFeb10
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/g11892hlaanovdec09
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/g10882_sept_oct09
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com