Facilitating Spoken Language in Young Children with Cochlear Implants
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Consideration of Face Shields as a Return to School Option


As children with hearing loss return to school, we all wonder how they will manage with teachers and classmates wearing masks in the classroom. ACI Alliance has published a paper exploring shields as a return to school option. 

Read the full paper here


Over the past ten years, there has been a remarkable change in the early identification of children born with hearing loss. Federal legislation supporting state programs facilitated the initiation of universal newborn identifying children which has led to approximately 95% of babies screened shortly after birth.

Before the enactment of widespread hearing screening for newborn, the average age of identification of hearing loss was 2.5 years. Children may now be fit with hearing technology when they can best benefit from it. Early intervention, combined with advanced hearing technology options, means that young children today have the potential to develop age-appropriate spoken language.

Reaching children early means the process of learning to listen can occur in a natural manner relying upon parents and other family members to be their child’s first teacher—just as they are with typically hearing children. There are specific parent coaching strategies and home activities that should be emphasized by professionals involved in family-centered therapy to help t facilitate spoken language development in young children who have (or will receive) cochlear implants.

Cochlear receives FDA approval to lower age of pediatric cochlear implantation 

On March 18, Cochlear received FDA approval to lower the age of pediatric cochlear implantation to 9 months. This important change is backed by research and clinical practice that has demonstrated that the earlier a child receives access to sound, the sooner they can develop speech and language. This important change will improve access to the life changing benefits of cochlear implants.


The mission of the American Cochlear Implant (ACI) Alliance is to advance access to the gift of hearing provided by cochlear implantation through research, advocacy and awareness.