Sharing this post, as it is a topic that affects a lot of parents, and a lot of people have differing views on this.
This is my take, as it stands, after 19.5 months post surgery.
I’m of mixed opinion on this. Personally some can do well with hearing aids as I did, but at the same time, the C.I. gives that much more sound. We all know that the sooner deaf children are diagnosed and fitted with hearing aids, the better. As sound is very crucial for speech development, but also for overall learning and growth for infants and toddlers. The kicker is, at that young of age, they can’t tell us what they can hear, or need. Nor can the audiologists definitively determine just how steep the loss really is. Unless it’s clear it’s a total deafness. Therein lies my issue, do I try hearing aids first, or jump right to the C.I. option if the loss is profound enough, just to give my child every possible advantage? They’re still Deaf, no matter which decision I make, and I would still use ASL regardless etc. The implant, can be removed, and has been for some for various reasons, but the hearing, if any that was there residually, is forever gone. It isn’t an easy decision, but I also understand why hearing parents leap towards the promise of the C.I., because the potential for better hearing, and in their eyes, a better life is there. All three of my children are hearing, so that decision isn’t necessary for us.
I had to make my own decision, not four years ago almost, when I finally qualified. I’d lose my residual hearing, and would in essence make myself deafer upon implanting. However, I stood to gain so much more, and with my past success with the hearing aids, the potential for me to hear and function almost like a hearing person was very good. I have only done the auditory verbal therapy and rehabilitation since October 2013, and have gained so much already, that it’s astounding me. Yet my therapist says that because I was so strong in the past, it doesn’t surprise her in the least.
Would I have liked my parents to have implanted me if it had been possible in 1974? I don’t know. I really can’t answer that. I think the decisions they made ultimately ended up being the right ones, by fluke, by persistence on their part, their support, and by my own strength of will and persistence and loads of hard work on my part. Technology is changing so quickly, that one day, they may be able to implant a NEW fully functioning Cochlea, or in fact any part of the ear structure, like the middle ear bones. Now THAT would be interesting to see, and the debates that will surely arise from that will be no different than now over the Cochlear Implant. Will it happen in my lifetime, maybe, but I don’t know if I would ever attempt it. Funny thing is, I said that about getting the Cochlear Implant, and look where I am now.
I’ve been blogging a lot about how my fiance reacts to certain aspects of my hearing loss. It’s always interesting to figure out his perceptions. I suppose I’ve always been used to people just kind of . . .getting it, you know? Most of the people in my life have known me a long time, so my hearing loss isn’t something that confuses them anymore. I have to keep reminding myself that my fiance has known me for a little over a year and half. It feels like he’s known me forever.
We were talking about hearing loss and kids a few days back when the topic of cochlear implants came up. He already knows that if we have girls, there is a very high chance that they will be hard of hearing (it seems to run through the females in my family). He is of the opinion that if…
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