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Early Cognitive and Listening Links: Early CaLL. The development and implementation of a profile to
record the long term progress following cochlear implantation of children with severe to profound and
multiple learning difficulties
Odell A. , Datta G. , Bones C. , Durbin K. , Redfern K. , Grant C.
Nottingham University Hospitals, Auditory Implant Programme, Nottingham, United Kingdom
It is well documented that children with a permanent hearing loss are more likely to have additional needs than
the general population. In order to allow for these additional needs when counseling families about expectations
following cochlear implantation, we need to take account of their nature, severity and how they may inter-relate.
This profile is designed for those children whose main challenge, in addition to their deafness, is severe to
profound and multiple learning difficulties. We now have over 60 children with this level of difficulty on the
program and a need has been identified to develop a framework which can effectively measure the benefits of
cochlear implantation for this population and which therefore supports expectations counseling.
The profile is designed to provide a clear visual representation of the inter-relationship between the child's overall
cognitive and interactive development, their tolerance of the signal, the extent of equipment use, auditory
progress and the development of early language skills in speech and sign if appropriate. By recording small
steps in a number of key areas, it is possible to demonstrate changes linked to the use of the cochlear implant,
alongside a picture of the child's strengths and difficulties.
The framework enables us to collect relevant evidence on long term outcomes across this broad population. It
also enables us to have conversations with families about the relationship between thinking skills, use of the
signal, and language development. It provides us with an effective tool to share realistic expectations, both pre
and post cochlear implant.