Cochlear Implant Rehabilitation

What comes after the cochlear implant has been surgically implanted and turned on? Rehabilitation therapy.

Child with hearing aids in a classroom

Rehabilitation therapy is necessary to maximize the benefits of the implant. The implantee is taught how to listen with the implant, and how to understand speech (and talk). These services are provided by audiologists, teachers, or speech language pathologists.

If the implantee had previously had hearing aids, rehabilitation therapy takes advantage of the previously developed auditory skills and builds on them. If an implantee had never had sound exposure before, the implantee must learn what sounds are and how to respond to them.

There have been some complaints that insurance companies usually provide only limited coverage for the speech therapy that a child needs after receiving an implant.

Some parents mistakenly believe that all they have to do is get their child an implant. Those parents are not well informed about the need for a strong commitment to rehabilitation therapy.

Rehabilitation Therapy Resources


Cochlear implant manufacturers may offer rehabilitation therapy materials. For example, Advanced Bionics offers "Hearing Your Life Rehabilitation Software" for adults and teens. This software helps to develop auditory skills. Cochlear offers its own similar program, "Sound and Beyond." Cochlear also has a rehabilitation software program for younger children, "Listen Learn and Talk." Med-El offers several programs, such as Auditrain for adults and "The Murat Reader Series" for children.


"Bringing Sound to Life: Principles and Practices of Cochlear Implant Rehabilitation" is a video training program. It is available through Advanced Bionics. Cochlear offers its own video program, "Start Listening."


Med-El has an extensive list of downloadable PDF brochures on rehabilitation. There is a series called "Listen, Hear!" with titles such as "Looking at Vowels." In addition, there are documents such as " How to make more out of my CI - A guide for adult cochlear implant users."


Most books on cochlear implants discuss rehabilitation. The following books are solely about cochlear implant rehabilitation:

  • Cochlear Implant Rehabilitation in Children and Adults, edited by Dianne J. Allum. This book describes cochlear implant rehabilitation internationally. 
  • Adult Cochlear Implant Rehabilitation, edited by Karen Pedley, Ellen Giles, and Anthony Hogan. This book offers guidance on the development of an adult's cochlear implant rehabilitation program. 
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