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Children learning to listen

While appropriate programming (“Mapping”) of a cochlear implant will ensure a child can hear sound through the cochlear implant, therapy sessions will focus on developing a child’s listening skills with their cochlear implant. It takes time for a child to attach meaning to the sounds they hear while using their cochlear implant and therapy sessions will focus on facilitating these skills.  
The development of listening skills typically follows a series of stages:

  1. Sound Awareness
  2. Associating meaning to sound
  3. Discrimination of sounds
  4. Auditory comprehension

Therapy sessions primarily focus on the parents’ abilities to effectively promote the development of their child’s listening skills, as well as speech, language and communication skills. This is initially done by demonstrating strategies for interacting with their child and progresses to the caregiver actively providing the listening/language model. Parents should expect to play an active part in therapy sessions and to gain ideas for activities to use at home.

Information counselling focuses on developing parents’ abilities to manage their child’s cochlear implant(s) and/or hearing aids, promoting understanding of the processes for learning to listen and verbal communication skills and the provision of information about communication and education options.

The Early Listening Programme (ELP) is a goal-based program that follows the natural development of early listening and communication skills. The type and frequency of the services provided will depend upon a child’s experience using hearing aids and/or cochlear implants and their measured levels of listening and language skills. Attendance at therapy sessions is strongly encouraged, and will maximise a child’s potential with their cochlear implant.