Your child may be able to benefit from a cochlear implant regardless of his or her age. However, for children who have become deaf before learning to speak, success is more likely if they are implanted at a young age.1 These children receive auditory information at a time when their brain is especially ready to learn language. In many cases, when children with a profound hearing impairment are implanted early enough, their hearing and speech can develop in a manner similar to that of their hearing peers. In these cases, spoken language appears to emerge almost naturally.2,3
For children who have had experience hearing and who have lost their hearing later, a similar rule applies: the shorter the time period of deafness, the more likely they are to benefit from a cochlear implant.
Today, children are being implanted at ages as young as their first year of life. This is due in part to improved surgical procedures.4 Additionally, research has shown better results for children implanted at a very young age.5,6