Will Adding a Second Cochlear Implant Improve My Daughter’s Hearing?

My daughter’s first language was sign language and it didn’t feel right taking that away from her just because she can hear now.  Sign language is used to help support her and hasn’t caused any obstacles with her learning how to use her speech and spoken language skills.  In fact, her speech therapist at school has always told me that “she always has great voice and uses her speech sounds very well.”

Also, research is showing that children who use sign language and have cochlear implants are more successful than children whose parents decided to drop the sign language.  Sign language is a means of communication.  When sign language is used with cochlear implants, it is used to  complement or expand on their language developmental skills.  Most children today, can expect to have an implant much sooner; however, infants waiting for surgery are still losing out on learning communication and language skills.

Over the last few years, it seems as if my daughter is struggling to hear me when there is a bunch of background noise or if we are riding in the car.  It became more prevalent as she has gotten older and I wasn’t sure if it was her just being a typical teenager.  She would act like she didn’t hear or understand what I was saying to her.  However, after speaking to the audiologist in January, I expressed these concerns with the audiologist and she told me that is one of the problems that cochlear implant patients who only have one implant often struggle with.  I asked her, “Would a second cochlear implant help her hearing?”  She seemed to think that it would help my daughter be able to hear better in noisy environments and she explained that the cochlear implant picks up directional sounds.  So that more direct access the sound has to the device the better she can hear.  This explains why she is unable to hear me in the car even when she is riding in the seat next to me.

I am hoping that the doctor gives us good news today and agrees with the audiologist’s recommendation for adding a second cochlear implant.  If all goes well, we are trying to plan on having my daughter’s second surgery this summer.  Crossing my fingers everything goes smoothly and as planned.

Do you know anyone who has bilateral cochlear implants?


17 responses to “Will Adding a Second Cochlear Implant Improve My Daughter’s Hearing?”

  1. Cynthia Avatar

    It’s great that you followed your gut instinct on the sign language. I’m praying for good news from the doctor.

    1. Christy Avatar

      She loves the sign language and I know I made the right decision. 🙂

  2. Real Army of Moms Avatar

    I find this whole world so interesting. Many years ago when I was in college I took sign language. I have NEVER regretted it, My husband and I use it across crowded rooms. We used it with our children when they were young before they spoke they signed. Keep up the good work

    1. Christy Avatar

      Its nice being able to communicate across the room without yelling. 🙂

  3. Emma Avatar

    I have a buddy with 2 CIs and she rocks her neptunes and harmony 😀

    1. Christy Avatar

      Thank you for sharing Emma, she had her surgery and will have her second one activated soon. Check back for updates on my blog.

  4. Anna M Avatar

    I’ve always found people who sign fascinating. I’m glad you didn’t listen to the doctor’s advice.

    1. Christy Avatar

      Me too. I wish I knew more signs personally.

  5. Leigh @oneandoneequalstwinfun.com Avatar

    Love how your mommy instincts came out when the docs said to drop the hand signs!

    1. Christy Avatar

      Yes, we have those great instincts for a reason and I am glad that I didn’t listen to their advice. 🙂

  6. Karen Dawkins Avatar

    A little boy was studying sign language for his first grade class while waiting on his sister’s dance class. I’m so thankful deafness and sign language have overcome the stigma of years ago. I do hope your daughter’s hearing continues to improve and am thankful she’s already had so much success.

    1. Christy Avatar

      I agree Karen. There is still some controversy in the deaf world about CI’s and sign language. It is still a fairly new technology.

  7. Steph Avatar

    Christy, lots of prayers for you and your daughter~ Prayers specifically speaking to my heart to remind you what a dedicated mother you ARE! I cherish the endless dedication you put forth for your family while ALSO being so dedicated to helping others through your incredible blogs~ Thank you for sharing this story~ XO Steph~

    1. Christy Avatar

      Thank you Steph for your encouragement.

  8. Courtney~Mommy LaDy Club Avatar

    I hope everything goes well too Christy!

  9. Tiffani Avatar

    My daughter has bilateral cochlear implants. She has had the first one for 9 years and the second for 6 years. I’d be happy to try to answer any questions you might have. Best wishes!

    1. Christy Avatar

      Thank you for sharing your daughter’s experience. Did adding a second implant help her overcome some of the issues that she had with directional or hearing when there was background noise?