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It’s a process, hearing technology implantation is not a quick fix or cure, it’s the starting point.
Implantation done, switch on or activation done and now Oli can hear, right?
He hears just like you and me now, so what’s the stress? I can’t tell you how many times we have had to answer these questions!
Getting a cochlear implant is not a cure or a quick fix. It doesn’t mean that Oli immediately understood or could comprehend everything he heard after switch on. Getting cochlear implants or using any hearing technology means working hard to comprehend what is heard.
In one of our first Auditory Verbal Therapy visits with Jenni our speech therapist, she said to us, “we hear with our brains, not our ears”. Professor Carol Flexor, a very well-known Educational Audiologist and Auditory Verbal Therapist uses the analogy of hearing loss being described as a “doorway issue.” What does she mean by this? Simply put, the ears are just the doorway to the brain for sound or auditory information. So, the purpose of using hearing technology such as cochlear implants, hearing aids or bone anchoring devices is to get the auditory information through the doorway and to the brain. The brain has to do the hard work and perceive what we are hearing.
So how could we help the brain to hear? We attended Auditory Verbal Therapy sessions, where we learned techniques that we could use as parents or caregivers to make sure that Oli is surrounded by a very rich, spoken- language environment. This has and still involves lots of narrating, family centered play, singing and reading aloud. Especially in the beginning, there is really very little quiet times in our house while Oli is awake. As he gets older, he seems to be doing more of the talking, for which we are very grateful.