Cochlear Implants in Children With Profound Hearing Loss R ecently, Rose (1994)  questioned the efficacy of cochlear implants for young children with prelingual deafness, since he and his colleagues found that a high proportion of children in schools for the deaf ceased using their cochlear implants. He equated non-use of a cochlear implant as “failure” and queried, “Why ... Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   November 01, 1994
Cochlear Implants in Children With Profound Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Emily A. Tobey, PhD
    LSU Medical Center, 1900 Gravier St., New Orleans, LA 70112
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Viewpoints
Viewpoint   |   November 01, 1994
Cochlear Implants in Children With Profound Hearing Loss
American Journal of Audiology, November 1994, Vol. 3, 6. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0303.06
 
American Journal of Audiology, November 1994, Vol. 3, 6. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0303.06
R ecently, Rose (1994)  questioned the efficacy of cochlear implants for young children with prelingual deafness, since he and his colleagues found that a high proportion of children in schools for the deaf ceased using their cochlear implants. He equated non-use of a cochlear implant as “failure” and queried, “Why are such children implanted in the first place?” He recommended taking a hard look at the benefits and limitations of cochlear implants in pediatric populations. Rose’s comments deserve further attention because they highlight the concerns of many professionals.
Although there continues to be lively discussion regarding how to define a successful implant user, it seems remarkable that less discussion is taking place regarding what constitutes a failure. Should non-use constitute a failure? If non-use represents failure, are hearing aids failures also in this population? What proportion of children in schools for the deaf use hearing aids? Do we as professionals have fewer expectations for hearing aids than for cochlear implants? If so, it would seem that we fall into the trap of believing cochlear implants restore hearing completely rather than recognizing cochlear implants serve to improve performance, not necessarily restore performance. This distinction is very important, particularly when dealing with young children and their families.
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