Results of Cochlear Implantation in Children 

The results of cochlear implantation in children are variable, but most can function in the hearing world. This unique video shows nine children with cochlear implants who were implanted at different ages (younger is better), with different degrees of pre-implant hearing experience, and differing duration of implant use. The youngest, at 2 years old, can imitate phonemes one year after implantation. One child in this video, deaf since birth and implanted late at age 5 has excellent listening and intelligible but imperfect speech at age 7.  Others have perfect speech which is indistinguishable from hearing children. Cochlear implants work!

Parents of children with cochlear implants relate their experiences before and after implantation

Parents of children with newly discovered hearing loss are in crisis and share much in common: they know little about hearing loss and it’s treatment, they are getting information from many people that is often contradictory, and they are forced to make important decisions. Knowing that hearing loss is a treatable medical problem and that if they want their child to hear and speak well they need a listening and spoken language classroom school rather than a signing school makes it easier for them to manage the crisis and advocate for their child. Note the one father who is prepared for the Individual Education Plan(IEP) meetings “loaded for bear”, meaning he is not going to let anyone tell him his child needs a signing classroom if their goal is listening and spoken language for their child.

Education options for your deaf infant. Making sense of it all

This video is intended to help parents of infants born with hearing loss understand the confusing and often contradictory advice they receive from early intervention workers, educators, audiologists and physicians. 

Understanding education options is easy: if you have a plan with your medical team with a goal of hearing and speaking then your child belongs in a listening and spoken language school and preschool. If your doctor is telling you that hearing and speaking may not be possible a signing education is necessary. Without a medical plan understanding education options for deaf children is not easy. Parents must know their goals and their rights to get what they want for their children. Do you have questions about education? Ask your medical team.

It is common for parents to meet deaf educators who want to enroll their hearing impaired child into a signing school. Parents will hear from this group that a broadening cultural experience awaits in Deaf culture and that all will be fine. It is never revealed that even today children graduate from Deaf schools with 4th-5th grade reading levels. Parents are also often told that cochlear implants don’t work well. This used to be true 30 years ago. Thirty years ago the initial results of implantation were not consistently good. Today results are consistently good and getting better.

Oberkotter Foundation History Film 

In 2016, the Oberkotter Foundation celebrated its 30th year supporting listening and spoken language opportunities for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  In honor of the occasion, the Trustees created a short film celebrating Paul, Louise and Mildie’s journey and the impact that journey has had on the Foundation’s mission and vision. This short film demonstrates speech and education outcomes of Listening and Spoken Language strategies in children educated today and decades ago.

A New Day

This introductory film about the well established Clarke Schools is informative and offers a glimpse into the Listening and Spoken Classroom environment.