SpeechPathology.com Phone: 800-242-5183

Club Staffing - December 2019

Speech Language Therapy Needs for Cochlear Implant Recipients

October 20, 2003



I have questions about the ''quantity'' of speech and language therapy needed for a four year old who has had a cochlear implant for two years.


Many parents of children with cochlear implants have inquired about how much therapy is appropriate for their child. There are no fixed answers however. The population of children with cochlear implants is so heterogeneous that what is appropriate for one child is not always appropriate for another child.

Children develop speech and language in stages (see chart). The rate at which children progress through these stages varies. Children receive cochlear implants at different chronological ages and at stages of speech and language development. How a child progresses following implantation depends on many variables including age, hearing history, mode of communication, learning style and support. These same variables need to be considered when determining how much therapy is appropriate. There are several therapy approaches available today for families including; auditory-verbal; auditory-oral; total communication and cued speech. Each of these approaches differs in the amount of structured therapy recommended for each child. One consistent foundation across approaches is the importance for the goals and objectives of therapy be reinforced in the child's natural environment at home and school.

In order to best determine how much therapy is appropriate for your child, locate a therapist in your area with experience working with children with cochlear implants. Your cochlear implant center may assist you in identifying a local therapist. Additional directories are available through the following resources: American Speech -Language-Hearing Association (www.asha.org); Auditory-Verbal International (www.auditory-verbal.org), Oberkotter Foundation (www.oraldeafed.org); Network of Educators for Children with Cochlear Implants (NECCI www.childrenshearing.org) or the National Cued Speech Association (www.cuedspeech.org). The therapist will be able to determine your child's current speech and language skills, as well as provide you with guidelines regarding the appropriateness of a therapy approach, amount of therapy and expectations for your child with a cochlear implant.

Table showing stages of listening aligned with stages of speaking development

Bio Sketch:
Dr. Patricia Trautwein received her Masters Degree in Audiology from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo and her Doctorate of Audiology from the University of Florida. Patricia worked for several years as a research associate at the SUNY's Center for Hearing and Deafness Research. She joined the House Ear Institute as a pediatric audiologist where she was actively engaged in diagnostics, amplification, cochlear implants and research. Currently, Patricia is the Manager of Professional Education and Training at Advanced Bionics Corporation. Patricia has authored and co-authored several publications on auditory hair cell regeneration, auditory plasticity and cochlear implantation.

This article was originally published on our sister-website, ''Audiology Online'' (www.audiologyonline.com) and is republished here with permission. The editors of both websites believe this article has application for Speech Language Pathologists and is offered here for educational and academic purposes.

Related Courses

Back to Basics: Down Syndrome
Presented by Theresa Bartolotta, PhD, CCC-SLP


Theresa Bartolotta, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #8975Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Loved this refresher about DS! I loved the examples of actual therapy sessions'   Read Reviews
This course will serve as a primer on Down syndrome for practicing speech-language pathologists. The basics of the syndrome and common speech, language, voice and fluency issues will be addressed. Effective treatment strategies for improving communication across the lifespan will also be discussed.

20Q: Dynamics of School-Based Speech and Language Therapy Variables
Presented by Kelly Farquharson, PhD, CCC-SLP, Anne Reed, MS, CCC-SLP


Kelly Farquharson, PhD, CCC-SLPAnne Reed, MS, CCC-SLP
Course: #10002Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'This information will be beneficial for fighting denials such as frequency of therapy related to progress'   Read Reviews
This course reviews dynamics of speech and language therapy variables such as session frequency, intervention intensity, and dosage, and how these are impacted by different service delivery models. It discusses how therapy outcomes are related to therapy quality, IEP goals, and SLP-level variables such as job satisfaction and caseload size.

20Q: A Continuum Approach for Sorting Out Processing Disorders
Presented by Gail J. Richard, PhD, CCC-SLP


Gail J. Richard, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #10008Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'The presenter clearly and efficiently provided a framework for understanding the three aspects of auditory processing'   Read Reviews
There is a good deal of confusion among audiologists and speech-language pathologists when a diagnosis of “processing disorder” is introduced. This course presents a continuum model to differentiate processing disorders into acoustic, phonemic, or linguistic aspects so that assessment and treatment can become more focused and effective. The roles of audiologists and SLPs in relation to processing disorders are described, and compensatory strategies for differing aspects of processing are presented.

Guided Metaphors and Their Use in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Speech Disorders
Presented by Tim Mackesey, CCC-SLP, BRS-FD


Tim Mackesey, CCC-SLP, BRS-FD
Course: #8741Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'This course makes me think about the effectiveness of using metaphors with all students'   Read Reviews
The integration of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and guided metaphors with behavioral models of SLP delivery is often vital to unleashing confidence and the courage to communicate. This course will demonstrate how stories can be used as metaphors to help improve outcomes for individuals with speech disorders.

Regulation and Its Impact on Speech and Language Skills of Children, Part 2
Presented by Joleen R. Fernald, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, Lyn Bennett, OTR/L


Joleen R. Fernald, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CLLyn Bennett, OTR/L
Course: #10286Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Great course!'   Read Reviews
This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Speech-language pathologists see children with a variety of communication disorders, often with co-morbid issues such as sensory processing disorder (SPD) and regulatory challenges. The impact of SPD and regulatory difficulties on speech/language skills is discussed, and strategies that support each sensory system in order to coregulate with children during therapy are provided.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.