When a baby is born deaf, it can be easy to feel defeated. However, the deaf community is thriving and sign language is an excellent way to communicate. If you're interested in cochlear implants, however, your child's speaking language skills can be enhanced.
According to an article on MEDEL, if a child gets a cochlear implant before they begin speaking, he or she will usually develop in stages similar to children with normal hearing. Of course, this all depends a lot on the child’s specific situation, like their age, amount of therapy they receive, and the family situation.
So how can you track if your child's language development is on track? This article gives some helpful tips you can refer back to.
Language Development Guide
1. Although this is not always the case, some children may start to babble the minute their cochlear implant is activated. It is not uncommon for it to take a little more time for the babbling to start.
2. The child will start reacting to sounds in the first few weeks.
3. Your child may start to speak jargon or strings of different syllables and vowel/consonant combinations that have adult-like speech patterns but aren’t any understandable language.
4. Soon after, your baby will speak their first words. They may not sound as clear at first, but they will improve over time.
5. At this point, their language development will only grow. The best way to help them learn and develop faster is to keep speaking to them and spending time with them.
6. They then will be able to answer simple questions and understand simple commands.
7. They will begin combining words, which is their way of trying to form sentences. Teach them by turning their words into a phrase. This will help them eventually begin speaking full sentences.
8. As soon as you know it, your child will be speaking to you in small fragments, telling simple stories and answering open-ended questions.
These, of course, are not always the same with every child. It is not uncommon for them to skip steps, or have delays from one step to another. Every child is different and they will get there eventually.
Cochlear Implants Are an Option
For some people, it's a scary thing for a baby to be born deaf, but it doesn't have to be. There are many successful deaf individuals out there leading happy, healthy lives. If you are interested in cochlear implants, just know it's an option. If nothing else, it's a relief to know there are options available.