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Blog Comments Reveal Misconceptions with Regard to Cochlear Implants

Posted Aug 24 2008 6:39pm

In a blog entitled, Jeff Daniels And Marlee Matlin Star In Sweet Nothing In My Ear , and 203 comments later, the misconceptions and prejudices regarding the cochlear implant reign. A mother-member of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle brought the blog to the attention of our international community cochlear implant support group - see Naomi's reaction below some of the comments I have posted. I have chosen to copy comments representing such misconceptions regarding cis and the role of hearing parents in choosing implantation. Not all comments were derogatory, actually there were many open-minded responses, especially in regard to the film promoting awareness of choices in deafness. However, the angry, unsupported comments regarding cis were what specifically touched our support group.

As many already know, the movie's plot is as follows:

Laura and Dan Miller (Matlin, Daniels) have been happily married, as well as best friends, for many years, but their relationship begins to change when their only son, Adam (Noah Valencia), loses his hearing at the age of four. Laura, who is deaf herself, sees this occurrence as a minor problem, something that she has dealt with her whole life. Dan, on the other hand, at first agrees with her but starts to realize that, with surgery, his son could regain his hearing and live a more normal life.

Tempers flare and frustrations mount as Dan investigates the surgery and its pros and cons. Laura is dead set against it and makes that very clear, even as Dan begins to favor the procedure for his child. Locked in their own worlds, the couple must find a way to mend their differences and make the best decision for Adam's future.

wluvtojlc said:

CI seems a big word these days.. Especiallly for DRs who really believe they know what they re doing which is a big myth here.. Telling hearing parents of deaf kids that they wld benefit CI is a big lie. They know parents like what they want to hear. Hearing parents of deaf children is to do some research and not from words of a DR. AGB org. is no better today than what they first started.. in fact I think they are going backwards. For ur information I have known this from talking to kids who have had CI day they don't really hear much, not comfortable with it , they have gotten hurt when a ball hits that area where CI was put in and gotten migraine headaches after that. The child s head grows as he/she develops as they grow and usually their scalp feels some tightness, some nerves become switching feeling

switching..Parents please get information from other deaf people who have CI before deciding on ur child. Thanks Hallmaark for bringing this media to the world to know.. and be aware

Louisvillian said:

Am truly sorry about cochlear implants. I can not accept it because they would have a major peoblem and remove from this....Not worth !!! Warning !!! Doctors get an advantage of your money.God have a reason for any hearing problem, blind, or any general health probleml. When you are saviors at first, you will be happy to hear in a heaven. Joyful ! In a Severan Christ's name.....Amen !

Ricky Drake said:

As a standard, cochlear implants would be covered completely by insurance but not if removed by surgery. One would be better off with hearing aid because he or she can have absolute control over it with ease. In most or all cases, hearing aid won't be covered by insurance, unfortunately.

Anonymous said:

Parents with their advocacy for ci should wait until their children grow up and make their own decision or the parents will have to face the consequence from their grown-up children. The parents should not afford to lose love from them, too. I already heard more than enough of grievance from those cochlear implanted children against their will.

I am excited about that movie. I will spread the word to my family and friends and let them enjoy watching it, too.

Anonymous said:

I am against cochlear implants, The effects that causes in deaf people wearing ci after the surgeries, It is no miracle, The doctors don't care about the side effects and just want money, I am deaf myself and also have a deaf daughter, and deafness run on my side of father's family, None of us accept cochlear implants.

Ci Circle Reaction :

I haven't had a chance to read the comments but in all likelihood I would have

read something similar on some of the blogs I have been on of late.

To be fair I have met some really wonderful members of the deaf community who

are open to cochlear implants and genuinely want to hear about how our kids are

doing with their implants.

For some of those that write the kinds of posts you are speaking of, there is

a whole generation of people who as kids were forced to be raised orally at a

time when cochlear implants and hearing aid technology weren't what they are

today. Many wanted to sign and were forbidden. Imagine yourself that you can't

hear enough to work out what anyone is saying or learning a language you can't

access and you are trying to get an education at the same time. Many of them

went onto learn sign language and finally found a way to communicate. They are

very scarred and traumatised by their lives and the way they were treated and as

a result compare our kids to what they went through. Of course we know that for

our kids it is nothing like that, but they can't see past their own hurt and

pain to see that.

I'm not condoning the continual perpetuation of misinformation, it enrages me

in the way that it does all of you. However I do understand why some peole are

the way they are and that no amount of me telling them my child's experiences

will change their mind, they are just closed off to wanting to know what the

reality really is.

That is why the internet is so powerful for parents like us, we can blog about

our kids and their successes, we can put videos up for people to see and hear

our kids. It is this generation of kids that are really going to break the

stereotypes, and educate the wider community at large. They will do this because

they will live and work alongside their hearing work mates and apart from their

processors no-one will notice any difference.

It is also incumbent on us as individuals to continue to spread the word and

get accurate information about cochlear implants to parents of newly diagnosed

kids so that they might make informed choices. The brochure created here is sure

a great way to start.

So by all means continue to comment and respond but know that there are people

who you will never change their minds, and at times each of us has expended a

lot of energy trying to do just that when our energy can be used for a greater

good somewhere else.



*nodding head in agreement*
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