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?