A cochlear implant is a complicated neuroprosthetic small electronic device that is surgically implanted to aid an individual with a sense of sound. It is popular among individuals with profound hearing complications. The device has an external portion fixed behind the ear and another portion surgically placed under one’s skin. The Food and Drug Administration first allowed the use of cochlear implants in the mid-1980s to help in treating hearing loss among adults (Dombrowski, Rankovic, & Moser, 2019). The FDA further approved cochlear implants for use among children beginning twelve years old in the year 2000.
Children beginning 12 years old are the latest group to receive cochlear implants. In deaf or severely heard-hearing children, the use of cochlear implants exposes them to sounds at optimal levels enabling them to develop speech and language skills. In children, these implants are followed by significant therapies before they reach eighteen months old. It has been established that children who receive these implants are able to comprehend music and sound; they can speak better compared to their peers who are given these implants when they are older. Educating these children requires more focus on speech perception and production. Other aspects to consider include educational learning, social, thinking, and emotional outcomes.
The controversy surrounding cochlear implants is that the deaf community assumes that there is nothing wrong, and thus nothing should be fixed. On the other hand, we hold on to the perception that something needs to be fixed. As a result, we tend to diverge from our perspectives. As a result, some deaf parents would refuse surgery for their children born deaf to have cochlear implants. In essence, the cochlear implants perpetuate that deaf people need to be fixed, and a majority of deaf people take issue with such perception.
Dombrowski, T., Rankovic, V., & Moser, T. (2019). Toward the optical cochlear implant. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine, 9(8), a033225.