Each year in the U.S., 8000–12,000 children are born with detectable levels of hearing loss in one or both ears (see Ref. [1], Centers for Disease Control). Research supported by the National Institutes of Health suggests that the most intensive period of speech and language development is during the first 3 years of life [2]. These children will also often fall behind their peers in language, cognitive, and social skills [2]. However, in recent years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved cochlear implants for children beginning at the age of 12 months. A cochlear implant is an auditory stimulation device that bypasses damaged hair cells in the cochlea, which prevents the reception of sound, to send electrical current directly to the auditory nerve [3–5]. The postsurgery rehabilitation process often includes augmentative and alternative...

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