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Copy of the Cochlear Implant: Affecting Generations

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by

Brandy Cabe

on 12 January 2015

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Transcript of Copy of the Cochlear Implant: Affecting Generations

The Benefits
What Is a Cochlear Implant?
easier to communicate with others, function in mainstream society
may be more job opportunities
children able to more comfortably attend mainstream schools rather than go through specialized schooling
may or may not need to learn sign language, based on level of ability
may save on expenses for parents when it comes to other forms of assistive technology, tutoring, interpreters, etc.
Greater opportunity for natural sounding voice
“Lifesaving” Technology/ Safety = Even if the individual is only able to hear some environmental sounds, it often helps them to be more aware of hazards or risks in their vicinity. (examples of ways in which cochlear implants could improve the safety and security of the individual who has received the implant): Ambulance sirens, smoke detectors, slamming/opening doors opening, someone yelling, etc.

Cochlear = electronic hearing device, surgically implanted.
1st part of the device = microphone or transmitter,
worn externally behind the ear to pick up sounds in the environment.
2nd part = receiver and electrode system,
implanted under the skin.
DOES NOT AMPLIFY SOUNDS
stimulates the auditory nerve
(sounds heard through the implant
don't sound the same
as normal hearing)
Therapy
is usually done after the surgery to
help
the person with the device
learn and relearn the sense of hearing.
Children
as young as 12 months
can receive the implant
(average age: 2-6 years old)
Adults can also receive cochlear implants
( although they face more challenges)
SO, To Recap . . .
Babies, children, and adults can receive the implant, but it has been shown easier for babies and children to assimilate to life with a cochlear, rather than an adult.
the Cochlear Implant is a device that is surgically implanted into the skull in order to assist the deaf or hard of hearing with the ability to recognize sounds :)
The Cochlear Implant - Frequencies of the Hearing and the Deaf
cost is very high, surgery + post-op care can easily cost over $50,000
adults sometimes have more difficulty assimilating
Once a device is implanted, the implantee has no option but to remain with that device for life
SPMT issues/ restrictions = (s) radar detector, playgrounds, trampolines, computers, carpeting, (P) scuba diving, (M) suggested MRI restriction, (T) restrictions from rough sports like football
Surgical issues = staph infection (low risk), vertigo (low risk), tinnitus (low risk), partial facial nerve paralysis (low risk and if occurs, is typically temporary)
programming is not always easy, especially for establishing the comfort levels
risks associated with the procedure itself - minimized chance of damage to the auditory nerve or facial nerve
long-term effects of implants are unknown, i.e. in 30-50 years, implants may cause bone growth and scarring inside the cochlea
easier to communicate with others, easier to function in mainstream society
may be more job opportunities
children are often able to function in mainstream schools rather than through specialized schooling for the deaf
may or may not need to learn sign language, based on their level of hearing ability
may save on expenses for parents when it comes to other forms of assistive technology, tutoring, interpreters, etc.
higher chances of developing voice and vocal skills to match hearing peoples'
Safety and Security: Even if the individual is only able to hear some environmental sounds, it often helps them to be more aware of hazards or risks in their vicinity (ex - ambulance sirens, opening/slamming doors, fire alarms, yells, etc.)
THE (POSSIBLE) SETBACKS
primary controversy = cochlear implants concern the definition of deafness as a disability
medical community generally regards deafness as a disability that should be treated in whatever way possible
many deaf individuals feel that deafness is a cultural identity rather than a disability
they identify closely with the community of deaf individuals and their supporters, feel that cochlear implants imply that there is something wrong with them that needs to be fixed
2nd concern = hearing parents aren't taking the time to learn about the deaf culture
the cochlear prompts parents to opt out of raising the child with ASL and "pretend they are hearing the rest of their lives"
most implants are done at a young age, some argue it should be the child's decision
The decision to receive a cochlear implant is a very personal one that should be considered on a case-by-case basis with the help of a medical professional. Adults looking to receive the implant or parents of a child who is a candidate for the device should carefully weigh the pros and cons to decide what the best choice for their situation is.
A Controversy to Sign and Say
I JUST WANT TO DO
WHAT IS BEST

FOR MY CHILD.
MY KID WILL NOT BE
ABUSED BY THE SYSTEM
MY CHILDREN
SHOULD NOT BE EXCLUDED
FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD
MY CHILDREN
SHOULD NOT HAVE TO HIDE
THEIR DEAFNESS TO OTHERS
I WILL NOT DEPRIVE MY KID OF THE
DEAF CULTURE
Portrait Courtesy of Chuck Baird*
Full transcript