Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Residual hearing? Really?!

Miss Kat was in the bathtub today and something crazy happened. I dropped the toilet seat closed and Miss Kat startled. I was surprised, so I did it several times (with the shower curtain closed, so no peeking) and she pinpointed every time.

The sound wasn't very loud, so I was very surprised. I know that she still had a little hearing left, especially in the low frequencies but this was way less than 80 db.


***SHE said she heard it, not me. She told me that it was a THUMP and imitated the sound and said it was loud.***


Anonymous said...

possible, but toliet is ceramic and does rattles and/or vibrates in the bathroom As well the air created by the lid(sometimes create a fan or vacuum) and the movement of the shower curtain. there's alot of ways deaf can sense it without hearing it. .the bathoom does seem "louder" in kinetic sense.

Dianrez said...

Hearing people are often surprised by our vibrotactile sense. A dropped toilet lid would make quite a thump that resonates through the floor.

Shel said...

the tub is a very good conductor of sound (vibrations). Loud voices would vibrate in a plastic container that you're holding. It's the vibrations, not the sound that Deaf people feel. Yet the reactions by Deaf people to vibrations often gets mistaken for the ability to hear.

Anonymous said...

i agree about the tub. she may say she heard it but sounds are vibrations. it is very possible deaf think they heard it when actually they felt it. if you use the same lid in a carpeted room, they are more likely not hear it (because they don't feel it) .

if she does have residual hearing, they have cochlear hybrid. (i think thats what its call)

Anonymous said...

It is a sense of vibration, not of a sound. Albeit being profoundly deaf sans either a hearing aid or a cochlear implant, I still could feel what your daughter has experienced.

Notā bene: Those who were deafened from very high scarlet fever suffers the lack of a sense of vibration.

Jean Boutcher

Anonymous said...

I guess most of the deaf can feel the lid close in the bathroom. I know I always can when I'm in the shower and my husband drop the toliet lid. Just now my son was playing the keyboard, and I could not hear it. but when I lay my hand on the speakers, I could. and I could slightly feel the different pitch/tones of the keyboardof (and when my son pressed multiple keys at the same time) . thats just how it is (IF your daughter's audiogram proven she have very little residual hearing left after the implant.

leah said...

Interesting... have they ever tried to see if she can hear any of the pure tones in a booth? I've heard of some kids retaining what little residual hearing they had prior to getting a CI - though she probably did "feel" it rather than hear it, it makes one wonder if she did keep some residual hearing...

Shel said...

Um. "She said she heard it."

I have said the same thing as a child... but that does not mean I actually HEARD it in the ears. It means I FELT it. "I can hear your voice booming through the plastic container I'm holding." What that really means I felt the vibrations.

Same principle holds for the tub. Like I said earlier: tubs are excellent conductors of sound especially when water is in it.

It is my understanding that the act of implanting a child effectively DESTROYS that child's residual hearing, doesn't it? If this information is correct, then Miss Kat FELT it, but expressed it as "HEARD" it.

Miss Kat's Parents said...

I know that Miss Kat still has some hearing in both ears, even after her implants. They have done some "unaided" tests, but I don't remember what they said. I guess I'll dig them out. I was just surprised because this didn't seem very loud.

Shel said...


Re: the toilet lid dropping not being very loud...

You have ALL comments, including mine on this thread testifying to the loudness of dropping toilet lid from Deaf people, and you're dismissing all these comments because that particular sound is not very loud to you?

ALL the commenters here are clearly from Deaf people who speak from experience, and you're discounting that collective experience that would actually help you better understand your daughter's journey in favour of your own auditory experiences?

Pardon me, but perhaps you need to remember that Hearing people do NOT know better than Deaf people themselves what they experience or "hear" or feel.

It is precisely the majority mentality that they know better (than the minority what their reality is) that creates so many problems and much heartache for the minority group.

History has plenty of evidence of that. And, unfortunately, that history continues today.

Miss Kat's Parents said...

Shel, get over yourself!

I believe MY child and my child says she heard it.

Why do you think YOUR experience is more valid than hers? You have no idea what she can and can not hear, so why do you know more? SHE is in her body, and SHE is explaining her experience, how dare you say that she is wrong and you are right?

Shel said...

Where did I say that my experience is more valid than hers? Where did I say that she was wrong? Kindly DO NOT put words in my mouth.

I believe that she said she heard it. So did I, and countless other Deaf folks when we were children! See my second comment to you.

It is YOUR interpretation of what she said that is in question, NOT what she said, or did. You are interpreting her information in accordance to the filtered lens you are seeing things through.

You won't try to see through the lens of Deaf people who have centuries of experience BEING DEAF, with hearing aids, or with cochlear implants, or WITHOUT either technological devices.

I have been blunt with you in this thread, MKM, because you have a history of dismissing what Deaf adults are saying.

My goodness, evidence of that dismissal is right here in this thread! It would be beneficial for you and your daughter if you dropped your defensive shields and actually learned from what Deaf people have been trying to tell you the last few months instead of deflecting and trying to make them into the bad guys for saying things you don't want to hear!

Sigh. I knew coming in here that you WOULD NOT LISTEN to what I had to say, nor would you listen to what anyone else who is Deaf had to teach you. Unfortunately, you have proved me right, and here I was hoping to be proven wrong. Sigh.

Dianrez said...

Vibrations come through a variety of mediums such as floors, air, objects one holds, even one's own air-filled chest.

The child is telling you what she experiences, but may not accurately be calling it "hearing".

I remember many occasions where adults marveled that I "heard" something. It was difficult to explain how it felt like the air impacted me, like slamming a book shut behind me or a hand clap. My parents used to brag that I heard the TV was on, but it was because of vibrations resonating in my chest.

Michelle said...

Oh please, you think your child can hear the toilet seat thumping? Oh please! I've been there and done that myself just like others had said above, too. Seriously, you really need to get your head out of the sand and listen to the majority of these people here telling you the SAME THING/EXPERIENCE we had gone through like Miss Kat has.
If you keep dismissing us, you're doing some serious disservice to your child. Have it your way. Just take your head out of the sand, please.

Miss Kat's Parents said...

Why do you insist on attacking e over something this stupid. I thought it was slightly interesting that my child could hear something with her devices off...big deal! To use this as a chance to attack my choices and parenting is absurd.

My child DOES have remaining hearing, that is a fact (It has been tested, and like many other CI users, some of her hearing definately remained). SHE told me that she heard it, not felt it, so why should I not believe her? She is old enough to know the difference.

Why does it make you so incredibly unhappy that she experienced this?

Miss Kat's Parents said...

Also, see Pinklam's comment (in the next post), she is also a CI user with residual hearing who agrees that she could HEAR things.

Anonymous said...

I do believe Kat is right in what she may be actual hearing. With me being profoundly deaf from birth, there are many sounds I can actually hear with my CI. For example, I was at my mom's the other day, I had heard something but wasn't for sure what it was....it was the refigerator running and I was in another room. My mom was very amazed how well I could hear it. Another thing, I was at work and kept hearing something and I had to ask my co-worker. He paused for a minute trying to think what was the noise. He was shocked to know that I could hear it when he didn't really heard it.

Hearing folks do take for granted while those with CIs are picking up many new sounds all the time.

InsaneMisha said...

No, it is not all about unhappiness. You really have missed the BIG point. "residual hearing" is common. When I wear my hearing aids all day and night long for a long time, I'd still hear something at some point but it would wear off eventually once you get SO USED to it. That's it.
No, it is not about us being unhappy, get that out of your head. Obviously you're really in denial. Seriously, you need to get your head out of sand (to be honest with you, I'm tempted to say your ass but no, I opted head instead trying to be "nice") But your attitude reeks ignorant. Sorry

Shel said...

MKM, your question shows that you're not really hearing us... an ironic statement if ever there was one.

It has nothing to do with unhappiness. What Miss Kat experienced is something ALL of us have experienced, and how she said she heard that dropped toilet seat is an echo of OUR experiences.

That you choose to dismiss our experiences, and deny and deflect in your hope that she hears something is hardly surprising... unfortunate, but not surprising. You call us unhappy. Um... remember what I said about putting words in people's mouth? Sad, really.

Anonymous said...

Miss Kat's Mom,

Please seek mental health care before you manage to serious and long lasting damage to your child with your denial. Your child's need for aural/oral therapy is far less than your need for psychological therapy.

Anonymous said...

MKM, ignore the poster who told you seek help. I know you are being Kat's mom and I think it is wonderful but some of us deaf do habitually say I heard something when we felt it. Because some vibrations really do sound like actual sounds (like the keyboard I mentioned earlier) .I guess thats how baha works.

Even if you do think she heard it, it's still different what you think it would sound like to her. Most likely it may sound like being underwater hearing sounds above the water to her although, I dont know what underwater sound like to a hearing person, I am only guessing what it would sound like.

Anonymous said...


Learn to stop looking at your daughter's EARS. Look at her GESTALTLLY!


Alicia said...

Miss Kat's Parents, I just found your blog. Kat clearly is a bright girl with a big personality that shines through her photos. I love the sense of playfulness in her photos - keep up the great work!

I am profoundly deaf with no measurable residual hearing. I had an implant as a child but stopped wearing it because it was not giving me enough benefits to outweigh the hassles of wearing it.

The human body and brain are incredibly adaptable. Kat will have many tools at her disposal for being aware of and navigating her world, with or without hearing.

One thing to be aware of is that certain sounds, particularly those with a low pitch, will be much more easily detected via vibration. I find myself jumping at sounds that others don't even notice, such as a large plastic garbage can being dropped on the floor (as its bag is being changed in a mall food court, for example). Vibrations also travel very well via certain types of surfaces - hardwood floors, bathtubs, table surfaces, steering wheels, etc.

Bottom line, whether Kat heard or felt the toilet seat, she was aware of it. That's a great indicator of her growing adaptability and sensitivity to her surroundings, and you as parents can rejoice in that. :)

The McGowans said...

I'm late writing in here as I only have time to check all my fav. blogs when I am . . . sick. Anyway, I had the same odd experience with my son a few weeks ago. I was banging a tub toy fairly lightly on the toilet seat, when my son was getting ready for his tub without his implants on. He immediately perked up and said, "I hear that". He was not in the tub yet. I had him turn away from the toilet seat and he told me every time when he "heard" the bang, bang. I'd love to believe he has some residual hearing (he has AN, so it is scrambled) but I am not as sure as you, and my son has a vastly different hearing history. Before implants or HAs, he has also reported "hearing" monsters in the water pipes (knocking), big trucks rumbling, and various other banging sort of noises.
This is the first time in two years since his implants that he has reported hearing anything without his implants. I'd never question him to his face, but doubt remains for me, and I am keeping my eyes (ears) open for other times he hears without his implants.
Thanks for your thoughts on this!