The progress of children using the multichannel cochlear implant in Melbourne

R. S C Cowan, R. C. Dowell, R. Hollow, S. J. Dettman, G. Rance, E. J. Barker, J. Z. Sarant, K. L. Galvin, R. C. Webb, B. C. Pyman, V. C. Cousins, G. M. Clark*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Multi-channel cochlear implantation in children began in Australia in 1985 and there are now close to 4000 profoundly deaf children and adolescents using the Australian implant system around the world. The aim of the implant procedure is to provide adequate hearing for speech and language development through auditory input. This contrasts with the situation for adults with acquired deafness where the cochlear implant aims to restore hearing for someone with well-developed auditory processing and language skills. As with adults, results vary over a wide range for children using the Multi-channel implant. Many factors have been suggested that may contribute to differences in speech perception for implanted children. In an attempt to better understand these factors, the speech perception results for children implanted in Melbourne were reviewed and subjected to statistical analysis. This has indicated that the amount of experience with the implant and the length of sensory deprivation are strongly correlated with perceptual results. This means that younger children are likely to perform better with an implant and that a number of years of experience are required for children to reach their full potential. The results have also indicated that educational placement and management play a crucial role in children reaching their potential. Overall, 60% of the children and adolescents in the study have reached a level of open-set speech understanding using the cochlear implant without lipreading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-89
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Journal of Otolaryngology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

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