Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cables and Cords

This morning I went to a really interesting meeting with a representative from Cochlear. She was visiting Christian's school, and did a presentation on the accessories that come in the HUGE box that your implant center sends home with you.I have to be honest, other than the listening microphone, we haven't really used anything.

While being informative, it also was a reality check, reminding me that while my little boy has his amazing bionic ear which alows him to listen and speak, he is also Deaf. He will always have to work harder and rely on technology to do things that we do without even thinking. Talking on the phone will be a challenge for him. He'll rely on special MAPS on his processor. He'll use special cables that will boost the signal on the phone he is talking on(we just learned about these today). Talking with other parents with older kids today, I learned that talking on the phone is hard for these amazing children. They get tired and fatigued, because they have to work extra hard to listen.

I always hesitate to focus on the limitations of Christian's Cochlear Implant. It truly is a gift, and will allow Christian to communicate and be a part of the hearing world around him. Because of his amazing progress, even I have moments during the day where I forget that he has a severe-profound hearing loss. He talks, acts, and behaves like any other typical hearing child. Without his CI, I would have never heard him say "I love you", or watch him dance to music, or sing his songs. For now, I'm going to focus on what his CI has given us, and save the worries for when he asks me for a iPod in a few short years.

4 comments:

Nancy de Pastino said...

Tina,

I think you are such an amazing mom, and Christian's progress and ability literally made me tear up when I explained his story to my husband last week. Focus on the incredible gift the CI has given to you and him, and just hang in there with him. I'm truly inspired by you!

Nancy

MB said...

We have a friend who's bilaterally implanted. Today I sent her an email in which I said, "If you can't find the office, just call me on my cell!" As soon as I hit send, I realized what a dumb thing I had done. She doesn't use cell phones - only texting. D'oh.

Drew's Mom said...

I think that you will be really surprised by how well Christian will do talking on the phone. Drew talks beautifully on the phone! We have amazing conversations where I ask him questions and he clearly understands me and answers. (You should try it - Christian could totally talk on the phone at this point, with what he is doing/saying!)

Oh, and this is just with holding the phone to his ear - just like you or I! No speaker phone, no special cords, no cables, etc. It really is amazing. I cried the first time I talked to him on the phone. Just amazing.

I truly believe that the power of early identification and intervention and amplification is going to pave a much, much different path for our little boys. And while I am sure there will be struggles along the way, this is a new generation of deaf babies. Drew is a little hearing creature - he even seems to understand what we are talking about when his ears are off. It's just who he is. And Christian is the same way. Look at the fabulous things he is doing - oh and our boys are *only* 2!

Rachel @ Cochlear Implant Online said...

Don't underestimate Chirstian's hearing abilities when it comes to the day when he'll be able to talk on the phone. As a CI user, I have never used any extra equipments to talk on the phone. The only thing that I use is the tele-coil which is a little switch on the processors when I'm in VERY NOISY background situations, which works VERY well as it blocks out all the background noise! (I think Christian has Cochlear's processor, right? It's the switch below the screen and you hold it down in the middle until you see "T" on the screen.) Otherwise, I hear and talk on the phone with an ease in any situation. My sister has always been addicted to using the phone since she was probably about three years old. She would call her grandparents every single day, and they would talk to each other about their days. Here's a blog post about us using the phone - http://cochlearimplantonline.com/blog/?p=208 . I know several other adult CI users who were implanted at a young age like my sister and me who hear beautifully on the phone too. Also, Val has posted a few videos of her kids using the phone with an ease.

If he doesn't hear well when he uses the phone for the first time, he'll improve overtime. It's all about practicing!