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This page contains a number of resources for parents.

Cochlear Implant Programmes

There are two Cochlear Implant programmes in New Zealand.

The Northern Cochlear Implant Programme, run through The Hearing House for children, services the upper North Island. Taupo, Rotorura and Whakatane are in the northern zone. They are based in Auckland.

The Southern Cochlear Implant Programme (SCIP) services the lower North Island and all of the South Island. Taranaki and Hawkes Bay are in the southern zone. They are head quartered in Christchurch but have a facility in Wellington for North Island clients.

You may also want to investigate what is offered in Australia. Each state has a Cochlear Implant programme. Many of these can be found here.

Guides

A Parents Guide to CIs in the NZ Southern Zone – This guide is useful for parents of children about to get a CIs and parents of younger children with CIs. While it is written from experiences in the Southern Cochlear Implant Programme, it is useful for parents in the Northern zone.

101 Ideas for Families with infants who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing – This is a good starting guide with sound advice.

Drying Disk Recharge Instructions – This guide is for how to recharge drying disks. This process should be done every few months when the beads change colour.

Cochlear Implant School Toolkit – This is an excellent set of resources for use by parents and teachers for when a child with Cochlear Implants starts school. It is highly recommended. Parents should buy the bundle when their child turns 4yo so they can prepare for their child going to school.

Start School – Teacher Briefing Guide – Example – This is an example of a guide written for a child starting at primary school (5yo). It is specific to the Katya Gardiner. It gives you an example of some of the information that would be useful for a teacher to know.

Integrity Test Information Sheet – Sometimes there may be a need to test the workings of the implant. To do this an Integrity Test is done. This info sheet explains what an Integrity Test is.

MRI Guidelines – Generally if you have a Cochlear Implant you should avoid an MRI. However if one is needed, it is possible. However it is important to read this guide and for your hospital/radiographer to contact your Cochlear Implant Programme before undertaking an MRI.

British Cochlear Implant Group – Safety Guidelines – These are a useful set of guidelines in terms of what is safe to do with your Cochlear Implants. They address issues like diving depths, sports, etc.

Guide to Audiograms – This is a good guide to understanding audiograms.

audiogram

This is a good diagram for understanding audiograms too. You can click it to make it bigger.

Guide to Child Development Milestones – This web page has some good guides to child development milestones.

Integrated Scales of Development – An extremely useful tool for parents to track their child’s language development against.

Facebook

There are a number of very useful and highly recommended forums where you can learn from other people’s experiences, keep up to date with developments and meet other people who are traveling the same path as you.

The main New Zealand Cochlear Implant facebook group can be found by searching for “New Zealand Cochlear Implant Group“. It is a New Zealand wide group for both parents and cochlear implant users. The group is a closed group so you will need to request access. It is highly recommended you join this group if you are a parent of a child with a cochlear implant.

Internationally, the best facebook group can be found by searching for “Cochlear Implant Experiences“. It is again a closed group and is moderated by 4 adult cochlear implant users, one of whom is a New Zealander. There is also a very good parent orientated facebook group called “Parents of Children with Cochlear Implants“.

In addition there are facebook groups for the “Southern Cochlear Implant Programme(closed group), “Loud Shirt Day” (open page), “Pindrop” (open page) and “The Hearing House” (closed group).

Sport and Related Funding

In New Zealand there is the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation. They provide grants to remove or minimise any impediment to children with disabilities taking part in sporting activity. For Cochlear Implant children this might mean providing private one-on-one swimming lessons or custom made cricket helmets, etc. There is no limit on the number of applications nor amount of funds required. Applications can be made via the website.

iOS Apps

The following apps are recommended:

  • SoundTouch
  • My PlayHome
  • Hope Words (from Cochlear)
  • SpeechPairs

If you know of other apps that you would like to recommend, please suggest these via the Contact Us menu.

Books

One of the best children’s books about Cochlear Implants is Eli’s Ears. It is written by an Auditory Verbal Therapist and illustrated by a bilateral Cochlear Implant user. It can be purchased here.

Other children’s books include:

Med-El also have a cool little book called Mellie and her Cochlear Implants for kids. Its free.

The Ear Foundation in the UK also has a good array of books and guides.

Videos

There are some excellent videos on sites like Youtube and Vimeo. Many are very encouraging and informative. Here are some of the best:

Listen… I’m Speaking – Part One

Listen… I’m Speaking – Part Two

Inspirational Video – The Zacharias

A video about the start of the CI Journey

Cochlear Implant Surgery Video [WARNING: Better to watch AFTER the surgery]

An XRAY video that shows an electrode array being inserted inside the cochlea

A video about what a CI sounds like

Here is a series of short videos called The School Cochlear Implant Toolkit. These address specific topics that teachers would find useful. They are also teachers talking to teachers, which is sometimes very helpful.

Websites

There are some fantastic websites for people wanting to know more about Cochlear Implants. Here is a list of just a few of the most useful:

In addition, the manufacturers’ web sites, particularly Med El’s, are full of information.

There are also an array of sites with useful therapy resources.

  • English Club – has lots of games, lists of minimal pairs, etc

Genetics

All parents of children with hearing loss at some stage wonder why their child is affected. For some parents there are factors they can point to (meningitis, known hereditary hearing loss). But for most parents there is no obvious reason. Some parents look to do genetic testing to try to identify a cause. There are some useful resources for parents in this area:

There are now quite broad genetic tests for many causes of hearing loss. If you are interested you should consult a genetic counselling service.