Two weeks following surgery, your child will return to CHS for the initial stimulation and orientation of all external equipment. The initial stimulation appointment, also called initial “hook-up” or “activation” involves fitting the child with the external equipment (speech processor, transmitting cable, and coil) and “mapping” of the device. The delay between surgery and the initial stimulation is necessary to allow the incision to heal and any swelling to subside. The initial stimulation is the first time the child will hear with their new cochlear implant.
While most children do not understand speech through the implant at first, the initial simulation marks the beginning of an exciting time for the child and opens a door to a whole new world of sounds. This is an exciting day and we encourage family members to attend the appointment.
Sounds that are heard are adjusted in a process called mapping. The audiologist uses a computer to set levels for each of the implant’s stimulating contacts.
The objective of cochlear implant mapping is to optimize the perception of sound. As new cochlear implant recipients learn and gain experience hearing with their device, the audiologist will then reprogram and fine tune the implant. After initial adjustment to the cochlear implant, the hearing pathways gradually become more sensitive and effective. As the ability to use the implant improves over time, finer adjustments are made to enhance the quality of the perceived sound.