Children and Young People’s Audiology
Now that your child has been referred to the North East Regional Cochlear Implant Programme, they will need to undergo a range of assessments to determine if cochlear implants would be a suitable option for them.
What happens now?
You will be contacted by your implant keyworker. They will be a teacher of the deaf or a speech and language therapist. They will also contact the local teacher of the deaf who already visits you. You will also receive several appointments by post. The appointments will be at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough or at other venues in the North East region.
Your child will be seen by a consultant ENT surgeon, an audiologist and a teacher of the deaf or a speech therapist who all specialise in working with cochlear implants. Some appointments will be at the hospital or audiology clinic and some virtually with yourself or your child’s school or nursery. Your child will need an MRI and, or CT scan as well.
Your child will already have hearing aids before they are referred to the cochlear implant team. They need to be wearing their hearing aids all their waking hours for at least three months before the audiologist can decide whether hearing aids or cochlear implants will help your child to hear enough to develop speech.
If your child is not wearing their hearing aids very much it will hold up the assessment process. We need to be sure that if your child had cochlear implants, they would wear them consistently and that you would try hard to help them do that as well.
What do we want to find out during the assessment process?
The audiologist on the cochlear implant team wants to find out what your child can hear in each ear without their hearing aids. Some of the tests they do will have been done by the audiologist in your local hospital, but it is important that the cochlear implant audiologist repeats these tests because they have to make the decision about whether a cochlear implant will benefit your child.
The surgeon wants to check your child is medically suitable for the operation. This includes performing a CT and, or MRI scan to check that both cochlea and hearing nerves.
The team also want to be sure that families have realistic expectations about what is going to happen when their child has cochlear implants and that they are keen to help them make the best progress.
- Medical history
- CT and MRI scans
- Surgical procedure and risks
- Ask questions
- History of hearing loss
- Hearing tests
- Balance test (as needed)
- Hearing aid check
Language and Education
- Talk about procedure
- Look at device
- Meet other parents and children
- Assess language
Assessment complete – what next?
Once these assessments are completed the whole team meet to discuss your child’s case and to decide whether your child would benefit from cochlear implants. If the decision is to offer implants, your child will be listed for surgery, and you will be contacted when a date is booked.
Before the operation, you will meet with the surgeon who will take your consent and talk about the operation. You will also receive a preference appointment before the surgery date.
At this appointment you will be advised if there are any options you need to decide about such as the implant manufacturer, colour of the processor and any additional accessories. As with all the appointments, you will be able to ask any questions about the implant and the operation.
The consent and preference appointments can be conducted by video call or face to face. You are advised that the venues for appointments before and after your child’s operation may change and we do use venues throughout the North East region.
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.
To ensure we meet your communication needs please inform the Patient Experience Department of any special requirements, for example; braille or large print.
T: 01642 835964
E: [email protected]