1SC di Audiologia e Otorinolaringoiatria, Dipartimento di Pediatria, IRCCS Materno-Infantile “Burlo Garofolo”, Trieste
4Ingegnere civile, tecnico esperto in acustica; 5Unità di Otorinolaringoiatria, Policlinico Medico Universitario di Ljubljana, Slovenia
Indirizzo per corrispondenza: firstname.lastname@example.org
Key words: Childhood cochlear implantation, Auditory rehabilitation, Profound hearing loss, Cochlear implant surgery
Over the past 30 years, the cochlear implant (CI) has emerged as the prosthetic surgical instrument of choice for the treatment of childhood profound sensorineural hearing impairment. There are more than 100,000 children in the world who received one or two CIs. The progressive increase in cochlear implantation in childhood is due to the practical benefits obtained over time on auditory, communicative and linguistic skills of hearing impaired children, and on their everyday life. The CI re-establishes the hearing threshold, supports auditory and linguistic learning and maximizes the multi-modal development. These results are reinforced when timing of surgery and correct programming of the instrument are associated with accurate diagnosis and selection, linked with early and targeted rehabilitation programmes that are able to create an interdisciplinary therapeutic alliance with the family. Cochlear implantation is today considered in ever younger ages, in lesser degrees of hearing impairments, in hearing deficits associated with inner ear malformations and in children with multiple disabilities or deficits. This wider use is supported by a progressive technical refinement of the device and the growing understanding of the neuropsychological bases of auditory-linguistic learning. The paper describes rehabilitation and outcomes in implanted children through numerous clinical cases treated.
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