Cochlear Implant Support
Preparing your child for surgery
Preparing your child for cochlear implant surgery can be an interactive and educational activity that you can do alone with your child or as a family.
The values of preparing a child for cochlear implantation are important and there are many resources available that can help children understand what to expect every step of the way. This Play Book was developed as a tool to help you during this process.
Who should prepare the child for surgery?
Among the people who might be helping are: a teacher, speech pathologist, early intervention provider, deaf educator and parent. Many audiologists in a busy clinic setting may not have the time to dedicate to play preparation as part of the couseling process.
The important thing is to take the time that the child needs to understand the surgical event and to build the trust that with the implant will come many positive experiences. Preparing a child for the surgical procedure, and for a life that includes sound, can be most rewarding for both the child and the adult.
About the author
Pam Dickinson, Principal Clinical Applications Specialist for Cochlear Americas, began to work with cochlear implants in 1983, and started a pediatric cochlear implant center at an oral school in Pittsburgh, PA in the early 1990’s. The value of age-appropriate preparation for cochlear implantation led her to develop the concept of the “Play Book” over a period of 11 years prior to her joining Cochlear Americas. Pam’s daughter, Erica Finsness, drew the illustrations for the Play Book.