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Class presentation on cochlear implants and other fun stuff

Posted Sep 11 2013 12:00am

Lily and I have now given two presentations on hearing and cochlear implants at her school.  The first was a presentation to her own class.  We started by asking if there was anything different about Lily.  One child said she had braids in her hair.  Then another one said she had strings on her back.  Love it.  Lily answered all their questions, showed off her Buddy/Melody and American Girl Doll with CIs, and tried to act out each point we made about Dos/Don'ts, FMs and how her CIs worked.  The kids were most interested in the FM and radio waves, as well as the stuffed animals. 

Then one day after school a third grade teacher, who was instructing her class about sound, asked if we could come talk about Cochlear Implants and hearing.  Her class had read a small piece about cochlear implants in their textbook and they were very interested in the subject. 

This presentation was a little more complex with descriptions of the ear, why people have different types of hearing, how a CI works and then questions.  Every child had their hand in the air and they asked dozens and dozens of terrific questions until the bell rang.  They all said that they had tubes or an ear infection at one point, so they could understand when someone was not hearing as well.  A very compassionate bunch.   Their questions ranged from how does a CI work to what happens if someone can't pay for an implant. 

We tried to inspire the students to become scientists, engineers or inventors that helped people.  At the end of the presentation, Lily had taken her headpieces off to "demonstrate" so many times, that her batteries died.  I'd left my purse in the car, which always has batteries in it, and Lily had left her backpack down the hall, which also has batteries in it. 

So....in a small panic...I looked around and saw remote controls in front of me.  I began to open them up and in the second remote I found a AAA battery.  I took it out, put it in Lily's CIs and crossed my fingers that it had enough power.  It worked.  The third graders cheered and clapped and thought it was very cool. The teacher said Lily may now have a third grade "fan club."  LIly was perplexed by the comment, but soon was thrilled by the idea.  Always a language opportunity. 

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