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  • Writer's pictureThe Hearing House

Creating a more cohesive service for school-aged children with cochlear implants

Hundreds of school-aged cochlear implant recipients are being welcomed back under the care of The Hearing House.

The Hearing House Speech Language Therapist Grace Morton with 12-year-old Charlie Kiefte.

From Friday 2 July, children with cochlear implants aged between five and 19 years, who live in the Upper North Island, will receive audiology and habilitation services through The Hearing House rather than the Ministry of Education.

The Hearing House Clinical Director Holly Teagle says; “Previously, a child transitioned to the Ministry of Education for all habilitation support when they turned five, whether or not they were ready.

“Many of these children still require more intensive listening and spoken language support than local schools can provide.

“By keeping the children under our care, we can provide them with services reflective of their needs rather than their age,” says Holly.

The change follows the 2020 merging of educational and support services for children who are Deaf and hard of hearing in New Zealand. This resulted in a new school called Ko Taku Reo.

Until now, school-aged cochlear implant recipients were supported by habilitationists within Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education New Zealand.

Ko Taku Reo Executive Principal James Le Marquand says students with cochlear implants will continue to be supported by Ko Taku Reo.

“The relationship between Ko Taku Reo and The Hearing House will remain strong if not enhanced and focused on working together in new ways for the best outcomes for our ākonga and whānau.”

The Hearing House is also welcoming two speech language therapists to redistribute caseloads amongst the team and in their provision of outreach services.

“Now our habilitationists can add local schools to their regional visits to check in on tweens and teens and support their local services,” says Holly.

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