Activation Day is probably one of the most exciting and stressful days in your cochlear implant journey. Being prepared can help the day go smoothly for the implant individual. Prepare yourself by getting a good night’s sleep. Prepare others that might attend your activation with you that this might be a day of different unknown results.
On this day your audiologist will go over the different items associated with the external components of the cochlear implant. Things like the batteries, speech processor, cables and headpieces; as well as daily maintaince issues will be discussed. Keeping all the spare parts in the box can help one have a central location for the future.
Your audiologist will then connect the speech processor to their computer. The implant will then be attached to one’s internal component via the headpiece magnet. A series of beeps can be heard to help set the most comfortable hearing levels. This can seem like a time consuming and long event; but it helps create the perfect customized hearing program for you. Your audiologist will then activate the speech feature on your speech processor allowing you to hear your audiologist’s voice and the sounds around you. Things might not sound as expected, but this is a journey to train your brain to understand the signals it is receiving via the auditory nerve.
Some tips to help make this day be a little less anxiety filled can be to start the night before getting a good night sleep, arrive at the appointment on time, and know that this is just the beginning of a wonderful journey.
Children may have a wide range of responses to activation. Don’t worry – it’s all normal! Below are some examples of different results at activation.
Oliver is activated at 6 months old. Watch for a little bit of crying, then with a volume adjustment, he’s a happy baby!
Another Oliver! At 7 months old, turns quickly when he hears his name.
Baby Jonathan stops sucking his pacifier when he hears his first sound! 8 months at activation.
Cal looks up happily whenever he hears a sound at 12 months.
Kevin hears his first sounds at age 2.
Cooper is activated at age 4 – he loves the new sounds!
A little girl refuses to put her headpiece on.