Deaf children with complex needs: Parental experience of access to cochlear implants and ongoing support

Wendy McCracken, Oliver Turner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper discusses the experiences of parents of deaf children with additional complex needs (ACN) in accessing cochlear implant (CI) services and achieving ongoing support. Of a total study group of fifty-one children with ACN, twelve had been fitted with a CI. The parental accounts provide a rich and varied picture of service access. For some families accessing audiological assessment for CI was problematic, for others expectations, access to a qualified teacher of the deaf to FM amplification were problematic. Where services were similar in quality and quantity to typically developing deaf children who had received a CI there were high levels of satisfaction. For all the children implantation was delayed, the level of communication skills prior to implantation was very low, and expectations were uncertain and unclear. Deaf children with ACN require at least the same access to services as typically developing children. It can be argued that this group requires a higher level of input from qualified specialists, yet findings from this study suggest some children are likely to be receiving substantially less input, and in some cases no specialist input. Recommendations for audiological and educational management are also made. © W.S. Maney & Son Ltd 2012.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)22-35
    Number of pages13
    JournalDeafness and Education International
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


    • Cochlear implantation
    • Deaf with additional complex needs
    • Parental experience
    • Service delivery


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