On this date in 1957, André Djourno and Charles Eyriès were the first people to install a cochlear implant (CI), electrically stimulating the auditory nerve through an electrode in the cochlea. Although the modern CI wouldn’t be developed until 1978, this important first step 65 years ago has been commemorated as International Cochlear Implant Day since 2005.

Technology has certainly developed a lot in the past 65 years, and research continues to move at a pace that was unheard of when the first CI was being developed. Last year, the ASHA Journals published more than 40 articles across all five of our journals detailing the latest on cochlear implantation. We’re highlighting seven recent articles below.

Cochlear Implants in Children

Counseling Parents at the Time of Diagnosis: Moving Toward Client-Centered Practice: Studies show that audiologists are most comfortable providing parents with information-based counseling; however, parents may retain little information in the initial examination due to heightened emotions. This article aims to help audiologists establish a client-centered practice and provide critical information in an emotionally safe environment. 

Disparate Oral and Written Language Abilities in Adolescents With Cochlear Implants: Evidence From Narrative Samples: Although CIs have been shown to improve language outcomes for children with hearing loss, these children still face an academic achievement gap. This article compares oral and written narratives of students with normal hearing and those with CIs to find areas where these children need additional assistance.

Do Acoustic Environment Characteristics Affect the Lexical Development of Children With Cochlear Implants? A Longitudinal Study Before and After Cochlear Implant Activation: There is still a great degree of variability in language outcomes for children who receive CIs. In this study, the authors showed that parents’ use of speech with certain characteristics while at home contributed to increased lexical production among children with CIs.

Positive Parenting Behaviors: Impact on the Early Vocabulary of Infants/Toddlers With Cochlear Implants: This article also looks at the importance of a child’s home environment after cochlear implantation. Here, the authors stress the importance of providing parents with information and training to help their children develop stronger vocabulary.

Cochlear Implants in Adults

Assessment of Reliability and Validity of the Cochlear Implant Skills Review: A New Measure to Evaluate Cochlear Implant Users’ Device Skills and Knowledge: As CI technology continues to improve, recipients have many options and features to choose from. In this article, the authors stress that audiologists must ensure that clients have enough knowledge about their device to ensure optimal performance.

Designing and Implementing a Comprehensive Telehealth Aural Rehabilitation Program for Adult Cochlear Implant Recipients: This article may serve as a guide to designing and implementing an aural rehabilitation program for older CI recipients via telehealth. This program can ensure consistent implementation across a variety of sites and expand access to CI services.

The Value of Speech-Language Pathologists in Auditory Rehabilitation for Adults With Cochlear Implants: The final article we’re highlighting emphasizes the importance of interprofessional practice between speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and audiologists in caring for adults with CIs. Authors describe important ways that SLPs can help adults with CIs, particularly in the area of speech recognition.

Looking for More on Cochlear Implants?

We hope that the articles above can help ASHA professionals who work with, or will be working with, the more than 180,000 people in the United States who wear cochlear implants. Once you’re finished, why not check out our Topic Collection featuring more than 2,000 articles on hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive technology?

For audiologists looking for more resources on CIs, you can check out ASHA’s Practice Portal or connect with other professionals through one of ASHA’s Special Interest Groups. We hope that these resources can help you spread awareness about the benefits of CIs—and the need for continued care for people with CIs—both today and beyond!