Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Cochlear Implants

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Health & Disability » Deaf/Hard of Hearing Group Donate to DU
FunkyLeprechaun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:09 AM
Original message
Cochlear Implants
I didn't see any topics in the D/HH forums about Cochlear Implants. However, I did see that people are learning ASL because their hearing loss is getting progressively worse.

I was born profoundly deaf 25 years ago. I got my first CI at the age of 16, being one of the first people who was born profoundly deaf to recieve CIs. These were a relatively new model of the CI, as it was one of the first ones to come out with a behind the ear version. It is called the Nucleus 24. I got a second one at 24 for my other ear, a Nucleus Freedom.

The surgery for the first one had me staying overnight. The surgery for the second one was done on the same day I went home. I felt fine and even had a glass of wine on the first day.

I was covered by health insurance. My first surgery, the health insurance provider had decided to pull out as I was being prepped for the surgery. The CI surgeon was very angry and declared he was doing it for free. Fortunately, the health insurance was persuaded to cover my surgery. My second surgery went off without a hitch.

I went for regular mapping seissons in order to determine the right pitch for both my CIs. They are just fine right now.

I do know some surgeons who do the surgery free out of goodwill (I had a friend who couldn't afford the CI and had no health insurance but Mayo did the surgery for free because he NEEDED it).

I also know some people who have progressive hearing loss and get some CIs, which improved their lifestyle.

I'm offering the alternative of the CI to sign language because most of the children I know in my hometown's public schools aren't doing sign language, they are wearing CIs and being oral. In young people, ASL is in a decline. Of course, you are adults and the choice is yours.
Refresh | 0 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Hawkeye-X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-11-07 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Interesting that you bring it up
I'm very much against CI, because at a young age, if one's parents decide for you, you have no choice. Think of it this way, it's like being pro-choice or pro-life and you're forced to make a decision on if you don't want the baby or not, etc.

We have seen the true results of CI on young people, and believe me, it is not good. However, I do see some benefits on older people. In fact, a friend of mine in New York, who was born deaf, but also has Usher's syndrome and will eventually go blind, decided to opt for CI now instead of waiting till he goes blind. I felt that it was the correct decision for him, knowing his health situation, because it is not fun to be blind and deaf at the same time (as I have seen a lot of older people go on it and go the Helen Keller way - signing with hands feel - and I have tried it, it's not easy)

Other than that, I feel that the parents should hold off CI implants on their kids until the kids are old enough to make a decision for themselves.

Speaking of which, have you seen the movie, "Sound and Fury?" - excellent movie that gives POV on both sides and have kids who have it and kids who don't.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
FunkyLeprechaun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-15-07 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I have heard
About the Sound and Fury. I keep missing it though. Maybe some clips might be on YouTube or Google Video?

My problem with people saying that they are against the child getting a CI is because it's "forcing" them to have the surgery. If you asked ANY hearing parent of a hearing child, "Would you do anything to improve your child's life if you find out they have a lifelong disability?" The majority of them will say YES.

I did NOT want the CI when I was 8 because the surgery was huge back then, shaving off half of your head and doing the surgery (plenty of CI-ed adults from that era have a visible bald line when they're in the pool). There was an even earlier model when I was 6 (1987) and my parents felt that the CI could be better and refused that option.

Right now, The CIs are so much more advanced, the incision is smaller, and it's a much easier surgery than 20 years ago. Advanced to a point that two deaf children, born genetically deaf to hearing parents who had never met a deaf person before their babies, whose cochleas were basically bone. They had CIed them, using an alternative form of CI surgery, attaching the CI outside the cochlea. The two kids are now teenagers and they can hear so well with their CIs. Much much better than me.

With me, I got my CI at 16, I'm still getting used to my CI and I wished the technology was around when I was younger. The two deaf children I know are now 14 and 12 respectively and they got their CI when they were 5 and 4, and they beat me in communication skills. No interpreters/transliterators in class, and they communicate with quite fluid ease.

CIs are best put in children when they are quite young in order to let them develop their "hearing" over time. It is like language, a child can easily acquire language while an adult will have trouble acquiring a new language. At 16, I was quite slow in my listening skills as my hearing aids were quite rudimentary. I've finally caught up somewhat.

As a parent, they will always make the choices for their child until they are 18. So in theory, you're "forcing" your child to adapt to a certain lifestyle which they might end up hating when they're of age.

I've talked to deaf teenagers who knew sign-language but lived in small communities with relatively few deaf children and they told me that they wished their parents had found out about Cued Speech before ASL because they had watched me communicate with hearing people by lipreading and speaking.

If 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents, I would bet that nearly 100% of the time those parents will make the decision to implant their children. When I babysat during a conference for deaf children, 99% of the toddlers were implanted. The 1% later got implanted, the next time I saw them.

Your views are typical of the "Deaf Culture," not wanting to force surgery on their children even if it will improve their lives. I had participated in a panel a few years back and of the 5 young adult (me)/teens, 1 had a deaf father. 4 (hearing parents) of the 5 said they would take advantage of the technology and implant us at a younger age. The deaf father was enraged and tried to rail against the CI, saying that he would never subject his daughter to that form of torture.

It was a small conference for parents of newly deafened children deciding what was the best option for them. Most of them went towards the Cued Speech/Oral and semi-ASL parents and very few went towards the ASL-only father as he was quite stubborn in his position.

It is best to keep an open mind when dealing with deaf children. Most of the parents I've met that had their children implanted at a young age said that it was the best decision they've made. (at the Alexander Graham Bell Conference, Cued Speech meetings, and some small local deaf issues meet ups which also had a mix of ASL, Cue, and oral issues)

As an adult, you have choices while a child needs some guidance, ie the parent makes the choices. Plenty of "Deaf Culture" people told my mother that she was forcing me to be "hearing" by not using ASL. I am so glad she made that decision and it has greatly improved my life.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
recoveringrepublican Donating Member (779 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-06-07 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. I honestly don't think my brain could take it
I started losing my hearing at 17. It didn't really get bad until I was 21. I got my first set of aids at 22. I did fine with them for a couple of years, but I lost alot of my hearing later. I could not afford new hearing aids at them time. I learned pretty quick to read people's lips. I found out in Aug that I was loosing my job and went to vocational rehab to start the process of finding a new one. At the time, since I was still working, they could only get me new aids. I HATE THEM!!!! They drive my brain NUTS! Granted they are only analog (when I find a new job, I will be buying digital, hopefully that will be better), but I just can't stand them. They help with one on one conversations and with hearing my family better (but I can "hear" them pretty well without my aids), but after 2 hours, my brain is fried from trying to decipher all the other sounds. I'm exhausted. I talking "i just ran a 5 mile marathon in 20 minutes" exhausted.

I am now hearing high pitches only when they are as loud as a jet, so not really sure how much longer any aids will be of help. the lower pitches I hear better, but that doesn't really help in conversations. I haven't done a lot of research into the implants, as I know my insurance does not cover them, but can you turn them off?
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Jan 20th 2018, 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Health & Disability » Deaf/Hard of Hearing Group Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC