Natalie T. and her daughter, Elsie, love to do rehab for Elsie’s Cochlear Implants in the comfort of their own home! In addition to their professional rehabilitation sessions, Elsie gets to practice her listening and spoken language skill development at home with her mom. Rehab with cochlear implants is different for every child, but we are excited to show you some fun and easy exercises that Natalie and Elsie enjoy together:

Rehabilitation is an important part of the cochlear implant process. Incorporating rehabilitation at home or on the go can support formal rehabilitation sessions held with professionals. In this series of videos, we provide examples of fun activities, which support listening and spoken language skill development coupled with commentary from Linda Daniel, MS, MA, Audiologist, LSLS Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist.

Building vocabulary and structure through predictable books

Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. In this video, the style of the book provides a great demonstration of rhythmic patterns and repetition of the rhythmic pattern. Reading to children is the first step in preparing a child to read; reading predictable books to children allows the child to start to memorize the book and “gets the feel of reading a book aloud” by repeating the book. A great example of a predictable book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle. Experience books are the next step of giving children the chance to talk about their own experiences using the language they have. These books are built using familiar photographs of experiences often with family and friends. These books help build vocabulary and sentence structure. At a later stage, the child starts to try to spell and write words.

Ling sound detection

One activity that can be done at home is Ling Sound detection. In this video, you can see Natalie working with Elsie on a stimulus/response activity. During the course of a hearing evaluation, many audiologists will use this type of activity; practicing at home is always a great idea. The next step in this activity to expand this skill is to do the same task from a distance, say 3-4 feet away. This would simulate detection at a conversational distance. Another tip is to vary the time between sounds; this ensures the child has to listen for the stimulus before placing the puzzle piece.

Butterfly listening skill development

The Communication Corner offers many different games for parents to play with children to incorporate listening skill development in their everyday world. This video is an example from the Bucket of Butterflies collection, where the goal is for the child to mimic the difference in word length from a short “fly” to a long “weeee.” Natalie does a great job by asking about the color of the butterflies in the bucket. A nice example of this would be to say, “Look here’s a butterfly! What color is it? Yes, it is blue. Can you say ‘blue butterfly?’” (Child repeats) “Right! It’s a blue butterfly.” “What does the butterfly do? It goes fly, fly, fly and weeee.” In this way, the parent accomplishes language goals, while working on the duration goal.

Repetitive action games

This videos shows Natalie playing a game that incorporates following directions and identification of body parts. By following along with the repetitive actions, the child demonstrates understanding of the rules of the game. Eventually, this can advance to a game of “Simon Says.” Another way to expand this skill is to reverse the roles; have the child give the directions and see if the Mom can follow along.

Is your child struggling to hear? Visit IWantYouToHear.com to discover more details on hearing with cochlear implants today.

Eager for at-home rehabilitation exercises for your child? Visit the Communication Corner to learn more.

Cara Lippitt
Cara Lippitt is the Senior Manager, Social Media Strategy at Cochlear Americas. Cara is inspired by the stories of the recipients that she is able to tell and the incredible journeys they have taken. Cara was born and raised in Colorado and adores the mountains, snow and the world of musical theatre.