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Amusement Parks, Roller Coasters and Cochlear Implants, Oh My!

Posted Jul 27 2013 8:01am
Drew has always been a bit of a dare-devil, much more so than his sister. He loves roller coasters, and now that he is over 48" tall, he is finally able to ride some pretty intense rides. On a recent trip to Kings Island , Drew had his first experience with the maximum thrill rides.

On our past trips to Disney World, Kings Island and Cedar Point, we have simply used a critter clip to attach Drew's cochlear implants to his shirt. This way, if a processor did come off of his ear during a ride, it would be attached to his shirt. However, as the ride intensities increase, we're becoming increasingly worried about their safety during a roller coaster ride.

Drew had a lot of anxiety while riding Adventure Express , one of our first rides of the day, when a processor came off of his ear for the first time ever. He was screaming that he lost his ear, and became very upset at the thought of losing the processor. Following the ride, we were able to remind him that they are attached to his shirt, and we won't lose them. He was fine for the rest of the morning, even riding The Beast with his processors.

As our day went on, Drew worked up the courage to ride The Vortex . This roller coaster goes upside down seven times. Not only was I worried about the intensity of the ride for Drew, but I was worried that even a critter clip would not keep the processors safely attached to Drew. I discussed my concerns with Drew prior to the ride, and he decided that it would be best to take his processors off during the ride. So, Drew wore his processors during the wait for the coaster, chatting with friends and family. As he boarded the ride, we took his processors off and placed them safely in a secure place, and he rode the ride. He loved it! He was so happy and had so much fun. And the interesting thing is that he told us he enjoyed riding the roller coaster more because he wasn't wearing his processors. And that's what he chose to do the rest of the day. Each ride, as we would board an intense ride, we would remove his processers and secure them during the ride. He still wore them for things like bumper cars, swings and the scrambler. But for the coasters, he was perfectly content riding without sound.

It's amazing the difference a year makes - last year we spent our entire day in Planet Snoopy and this year we're doing seven-loop roller coasters. My kids are growing up way too fast!

Drew's favorite ride of the day: The Vortex

Drew's sisters' favorite ride of the day: Flight Deck
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