Celebrating Hearing Birthdays

Hearing is an incredible gift, and one that people with hearing loss and their families do not take for granted.  Here are some ideas for how to make your “Hearing Birthday” (the anniversary of your/your child’s CI activation or the day you/your child received HAs or Baha) special.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Speech and Articulation

Here are some of the most common questions I hear about speech, articulation, and people with hearing loss.

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Cochlear Implants, Residual Hearing, and Hybrid CIs

“When you get a cochlear implant, all of your natural hearing is destroyed.”
This used to be the common wisdom: get a cochlear implant, forgo any residual hearing (hearing that you have without the use of hearing devices).  Today, however, less traumatic surgical techniques and improved electrode arrays have proven this to be untrue.  What is the most current information?  

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FAQs about Hearing Loss, Hearing Technology, and Auditory Verbal Therapy

When you meet someone new, one of the first questions we tend to ask is, “What do you do?”  When I tell people that I teach children with hearing loss to listen and speak, it’s a real conversation starter.  Here are some of my most frequently asked questions about hearing loss, hearing technology, and Auditory Verbal Therapy.  What are yours?

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Busting the Myth of “Cochlear Implants Don’t Work”

Opponents of cochlear implants, or CI skeptics, or even those who are neutral but uninformed often parrot the lines that “Some people just don’t do well with cochlear implants.”  They say, “Not everyone gets the same results.”  I’ll agree with them on those statements — they’re right.  Unfortunately, we do still see large variability in the speech, language, and listening outcomes of users of cochlear implants.  Where the critics have it wrong, however, is that they portray these differences in outcome as largely due to chance — unexplainable phenomena that no one can predict or prevent.  Myths continue to persist that the outcomes of cochlear implantation are “uncertain,” “risky,” or “a gamble.”

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Do You Teach Lipreading?

When I tell people that my job is teaching children with hearing loss to listen and talk without the use of sign language, it usually stops people in their tracks for a minute.  The first question I usually get is, “How?” which leads to a whole discussion about the auditory brain.  The second most frequently asked question is, “So you teach lipreading, right?”  Not exactly…

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What Are the Advantages of Teletherapy?

When I began to offer teletherapy services, I wanted to make sure that my clients would be receiving treatment that was as good as in-person therapy.  What I didn’t realize was that, in many cases, teletherapy could be even better than treatment in a brick-and-mortar location!

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Listening Environments: Greenhouse vs. Garden

Imagine a sapling in a tiny greenhouse. The greenhouse is a small, protective place for new plants.  The elements are controlled, the four walls all around block out the noise, and little plants are perfectly positioned to soak up all the benefits of this enriched environment.

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Genetic Testing for Hearing Loss

When parents find out that their child has hearing loss, one of the first questions they ask is often, “Why?”

Some causes of hearing loss are easy to determine:  the child has outer or middle ear malformations that are apparent in a visual examination, the mother had an illness known to cause hearing loss during pregnancy, or the child suffered some trauma at birth related to hearing loss (for example, many premature babies are given ototoxic drugs that keep them alive at the cost of damaging their hearing).  But other cases are not so clear-cut.

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