Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Why can you hear without implants on?"

This was the question Miss Kat posed to us last night, as she was laying down at bedtime. It is a very important question, so we spent some time going over it.

First, I pulled up this picture
I then explained how typical hearing works. I said that the sound travels in the ear, vibrates the ear drum and then stimulates the hair cells ("Yuck, I have hair inside my ear?", "No, it just is called hair, it isn't actually hair", "Oh good.") and then the cochlea sends that information to the nerve. 

Then I showed her this picture
I said that Mom and Dad have hair cells like the picture on the left, but hers don't work well, like the picture on the left. I said that since her hair cells weren't able to hear, we got her an implant.

Then we looked at these pictures
We talked about the different parts of the internal implant and how the electrode is inside her inner ear. Then she wanted to better understand how it got there. She asked about the surgery, and what exactly the doctor did to get the implant inside her ear. So, we watched this



Miss Kat thought that the surgery was "gross" and that she was glad that she didn't have to do it! (Guess CI surgeon is off the list of possible vocations!)

Overall, I thought that she understood very well, and asked a lot of great questions. I know this will not be the last time we discuss the matter, but she wasn't upset or sad at all. She knows that she is deaf and that Mom and Dad are hearing. She knows lots of Deaf and deaf kids and adults, but she also knows that most people she encounters in the world are hearing, and she isn't and never will be.

7 comments:

Kate said...

I just found your blog and poured over your years of posts. Thank you for sharing your journey. We as parents of children with hearing loss, all do our best to make good decisions for our children. It is nice to read about someone who is confident in her decisions for her family, and yet open and supportive of other's choices - and to read about your journey to this place of support.

I love the way that you clearly and simply described typical hearing and hearing with a CI to your daughter. I have some excellent animations of typically functioning hair cells and deteriorating hairs cells. If you want me to point you to them on YouTube, just let me know.

Anonymous said...

This is a good time and opportunity for Miss Kat to realize her true identity!

Miss Kat's Parents said...

And what "true identity" would that be Mr. Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

This is a female anonymous so it is Ms. Anonymous.

Dianrez said...

Where one belongs comes from the community one is in...Miss Kat is in a school with others like herself and in time will find those she identifies with most.

It isn't the parent's role to give more than a beginning of understanding...ie. differences between hearing and deaf and differences between different levels of hearing. At the same time trying not to accidentally instill the idea that it is better to be hearing than to be deaf.

dlefler said...

Nolan hasn't really asked about his hearing aids yet, though he has noted that his brother doesn't wear them. He does insist that he doesn't need to wear his glasses, though - I find it interesting that he doesn't like his glasses very much, but loves his hearing aids.

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