The focus of this presentation is on the role of the psychologist as a member of the cochlear implant team.
While the psychologist may often function as a consultant to the team and may be involved in providing treatment services for children being considered for implants, primary attention will be given to the role of the psychologist in conducting pre-implant psychological evaluations of the child.
Do parents appear to show evidence of deficits that could compromise successful outcome or require special assistance?
Does the child show evidence of delays in development severe enough to compromise success?
Do either parents or child show evidence of psychological/behavioral problems that could compromise success?
Psychological and Behavioral Issues: Implications for Intervention
While not meant to be inclusive, listed below are some common examples of psychological and family issues, highlighted in the pre-implant evaluation, that may warrant family or behavioral intervention.
In some instances the child does not display any specific diagnosable disorder but does show evidence of selective non-compliance.
An example might be the child who refuses to wear prescribed hearing aids despite the fact that he/she derives some benefit from them
As this non-compliant behavior may be seen as representing a challenge to implant compliance it may be necessary for the child (and sometimes family) to demonstrate compliance in this area prior to being reconsidered for implantation.