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View Full Version : Deaf riders - Anyone have a Cochlear Implant?



chism
Jan. 23, 2010, 09:45 AM
My profoundly deaf daughter wears hearing aids. She's recently lost some of her residual hearing, necessitating an implant. The doctors tell us that after the required month off to heal, she'll be good to go as far as sports & riding go. I am worried about helmet fit though. Does anyone on the board have an implant? Did it require any special fitting with your helmet? Thanks very much in advance.

2boys
Jan. 23, 2010, 10:30 AM
The only experience I have with this is that I had a student with one last year. I am only speculating here, but it seems to me that the part that sticks to the back of the ear isn't too big that she couldn't wear a helmet. My little guy used to pull his off pretty easily though ( a bit of a behavior issue we worked through :). I wonder a bit if the hat jossling could pop it off? Maybe you could ask a professional about it?

Christa P
Jan. 23, 2010, 11:27 AM
There is a teenager where I board that has one. She wears a helmut and shows and it does not seem to be a problem.

Christa

Movin Artfully
Jan. 26, 2010, 11:37 AM
I taught an equitation class through a community college- and had a deaf student with cochlear implants who rode. The helmet worked fine. The student was provided (by the college, I believe) with two sign language interpreters who stood on opposing ends of the arena to sign instructions. As an instructor, my greatest concern was that the student (being a new rider) would become scared and look at the horse instead of her interpreters. We talked about this a great deal before the class. Having the interpreters positioned on both sides of the arena gave her a point of reference at all times.

How neat that your daughter will have this opportunity!

quietann
Jan. 29, 2010, 03:29 PM
One of my friends is mostly deaf due to in utero rubella exposure, and wears hearing aids. He's been told that he's not a candidate for cochlear implants, and when he took riding lessons, he had a rough time because he lip reads so much. He now has an Apple iPhone with a special modification that hooks up to his hearing aids, so the instructor can call him from her cellphone and give the lesson that way. It's worked nicely for him.

rivenoak
Jan. 29, 2010, 06:06 PM
An pal is having her 2nd implant surgery today.

Honestly, I don't know if she wore the 1st one when she was riding. I'm not sure how it fits under a helmet. You wouldn't want to sacrifice fit everywhere else to accommodate that.

I will have to ask her after she is recovered.

chism
Feb. 1, 2010, 05:58 PM
Thank you all for your replies.
The actual device is rather small, about the size of a 50 cent piece, but it does stick out from the skull. She'll also have a larger hearing aid type piece on the ear. She's always worn hearing aids, but since they rest behind the ear, they don't stick out. I'm just wondering if I'll need to modify the padding on the helmet to accommodate the outer components of the implant.

rivenoak
Feb. 4, 2010, 11:15 AM
My pal said she will be getting a new helmet to fit over both CIs.

SandraD
Feb. 4, 2010, 12:01 PM
My son has an implant & my daughter has a VP shunt. We have found that the Tipperary helmets seem to fit them the best with minimal if any rubbing. Our doctors felt the profile & padding offered the best protection. We did need to modify the padding on my daughters helmet a bit. During helmet checks at a pony club rally we had an issue with changing the padding, so we now carry a note from her doctor.

altjaeger
Feb. 4, 2010, 01:34 PM
How well do these CIs work, anyway. I've heard reports that you still must lip-read to understand speech.

Also, don't these come with a belt-alternative to the unit that sticks to the head?

rivenoak
Feb. 4, 2010, 05:12 PM
wanabe:

http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/coch.asp

wabadou
Feb. 4, 2010, 07:20 PM
This is a really interesting thread.
I teach Deaf and hard of hearing elementary school kids and have had a number of them with cochlears. None of them rode horses so I never thought about riding and helmet fit challenges. The BTE part should be fine, it would be the magnet that I would be concerned about fitting around and cushioning in the event of a fall.
I'd love to hear what you end up finding out.

altjaeger
Feb. 5, 2010, 02:05 PM
Anybody actually know someone with CI only hearing? Can they understand speech without lip-reading?

rivenoak
Feb. 5, 2010, 05:42 PM
Wanabe, I don't know if you read the entire link I posted, but it says, CI "...often provides recipients with the ability to understand speech solely by listening through the implant, without requiring any visual cues such as those provided by lipreading or sign language."

It will depend on the person.

Would you please cite where you got the information about having to lip-read after obtaining CIs?

rivenoak
Feb. 5, 2010, 05:47 PM
I will say this about my son: at this point, as he's on the lead line, he doesn't wear his HAs while riding.

He also didn't wear them under his hockey helmet last week for his first lesson.

They'd fit of course, as they're BTE, but I'm more concerned with a 4 year old yanking off the helmet and dragging the HAs with it. I'm not in the mood to search the dirt or the ice for little bits of plastic.

Once he knows how to properly remove a helmet or wait for assistance, I'll deal with him saying, "What? What?" more than usual.

etc.
Feb. 5, 2010, 06:17 PM
Wanabe- I teach tutor a girl who has 2 CI's. She can understand me without reading lips, though she does read them when possible. She does have trouble at school watching videos in class because the sound isn't all that great and she can't see the actor's lips. If there isn't a lot of background noise I can approach her from behind in the hall, and she'll hear me greet her.

wabadou
Feb. 5, 2010, 06:38 PM
I have a number of students who are able to understand speech through their CI without the aid of speechreading, although speech reading is also useful to them in certain noisy situations.
The early CIs were not nearly as clear as the digital ones they make now, so perhaps your information (wanabe) is just very outdated.

chism
Feb. 6, 2010, 10:40 AM
MY daughter is 14 and has been aided since the age of 6 months. She's done very well with what little hearing she has, her loss is in the 90-95db range, with aided results in the 55db range. My understanding is that she will hear in the 20-30db range with the implant, so significantly better. I believe those people who have the CI who still tend to sign & lipread instead of speaking are those where the person was not able to access speech/language prior to the implant. The best candidates are those who've had access to language at earlier stages.

Rivenoak - My daughter plays hockey, so I'm sure you'll relate to this. She got checked so hard in a game the other day that both her hearing aids fell OUT! I could have killed the kid that hit her. The helmet does limit communication somewhat, but she's a great lip reader.

Wanabe - ?? I don't understand what you mean by this.
Quote: "Also, don't these come with a belt-alternative to the unit that sticks to the head?"

chism
Feb. 6, 2010, 10:45 AM
Wanabe- I teach tutor a girl who has 2 CI's. She can understand me without reading lips, though she does read them when possible. She does have trouble at school watching videos in class because the sound isn't all that great and she can't see the actor's lips. If there isn't a lot of background noise I can approach her from behind in the hall, and she'll hear me greet her.

Etc - It should be part of this child's ed plan that all visual media be close captioned, and if that's not possible, then she should have a written summary of all media materials presented to the rest of the class to help her follow along. You simply can't make it loud enough to be accessible. My daughter tells me that it's not that she can't hear video/television, she can't understand it.

rivenoak
Feb. 8, 2010, 11:26 AM
My daughter plays hockey, so I'm sure you'll relate to this. She got checked so hard in a game the other day that both her hearing aids fell OUT! I could have killed the kid that hit her. The helmet does limit communication somewhat, but she's a great lip reader.

Oh man! :eek::mad:

My son had his 2nd hockey lesson on Sat & it became clear that he couldn't hear the coach, even when they were circled up. So, I guess this week he'll wear the HAs. He's got some EarGear, so we'll put those on for hockey; he normally just has the little cord & clip setup.

Does your daughter get any feedback from the helmet being near/touching her HAs?

I've got a million other questions for you!

SandraD
Feb. 9, 2010, 08:28 AM
"Anybody actually know someone with CI only hearing? Can they understand speech without lip-reading?"

My son was implanted at age 3 & is now 19. I don't have his audiogram handy, but he was profound to the point he was wearing body aids. He has never had "hearing". He was educated orally & has been mainstreamed since 2nd grade. His speach is so good most people don't realize he is deaf. He uses the phone (both land & cell) without plugging his CI into it. He does lipread in noisy situations & to be honest since he doesn't use it often, he's not very good at it. He is currently away at college & needs very little in accomadations. Preferential seating & written lectures from a couple of foreign professors.

chism
Feb. 10, 2010, 02:07 PM
Oh man! :eek::mad:

My son had his 2nd hockey lesson on Sat & it became clear that he couldn't hear the coach, even when they were circled up. So, I guess this week he'll wear the HAs. He's got some EarGear, so we'll put those on for hockey; he normally just has the little cord & clip setup.

Does your daughter get any feedback from the helmet being near/touching her HAs?

I've got a million other questions for you!

PM me...maybe I have answers? ;)

chism
Feb. 10, 2010, 02:09 PM
To keep this on the horse related front....she currently has a Charles OWen skull cap which is close fitting. It has foam padding which kind of molds to your head, so I"m thinking if it's too tight with the implant..maybe I'll just have to go up a size.

DressageFancy
Feb. 10, 2010, 03:42 PM
I have an "Bionics" implant. As explained to me---there is little to no difference in quality, ect. in the implants offered. The external aid is what you need to examine for your individual needs. I went with the Bionics because it fit the nicest behind my ear allowing my helmet to sit correctly on my head. (You mightest well not wear a helment if it does not fit correctly!) I did have to go to the more oval shaped helmet after surgery (the one I had before was more round in head shape). Getting a correctly fitting helmet will not be a problem---she just won't wear the one she is currently wearing. The other thing---one month off to heal is way too short. Externally the wound will heal in that amount of time but I found 3 to 6 months healing more necessary. Your daughters balance will be slightly changed. Doing normal walking, barn chores, ect. I really did not notice the balance change. But, I noticed it the first time I got back on a horse. I also noticed it if I hurried up and down stairs. I started back riding doing a lot of walk on my really broke lesson horse and progressed from there. I did not feel up to riding my younger horses until almost a year had passed. Now at 4 year post surgery I ride /train as I always did.
One other thing, your daughter will spend the first 4-6 months relearning sound. It is a WOW experience! Not only for her but for the whole family! The simple things like hearing your horse chew hay and the chattering of the barn sparrows really blew me away. I can now even identify bird songs!
God bless!

DressageFancy
Feb. 10, 2010, 03:55 PM
I have an "Bionics" implant. As explained to me---there is little to no difference in quality, ect. in the implants offered. The external aid is what you need to examine for your individual needs. I went with the Bionics because it fit the nicest behind my ear allowing my helmet to sit correctly on my head. (You mightest well not wear a helment if it does not fit correctly!) I did have to go to the more oval shaped helmet after surgery (the one I had before was more round in head shape). Getting a correctly fitting helmet will not be a problem---she just won't wear the one she is currently wearing. The other thing---one month off to heal is way too short. Externally the wound will heal in that amount of time but I found 3 to 6 months healing more necessary. Your daughters balance will be slightly changed. Doing normal walking, barn chores, ect. I really did not notice the balance change. But, I noticed it the first time I got back on a horse. I also noticed it if I hurried up and down stairs. I started back riding doing a lot of walk on my really broke lesson horse and progressed from there. I did not feel up to riding my younger horses until almost a year had passed. Now at 4 year post surgery I ride /train as I always did.
One other thing, your daughter will spend the first 4-6 months relearning sound. It is a WOW experience! Not only for her but for the whole family! The simple things like hearing your horse chew hay and the chattering of the barn sparrows really blew me away. I can now even identify bird songs!
God bless!

I forgot to add: My speech hearing improved from less than 40% to 90% in normal conversation. In noisy environments I still depend somewhat on lip reading.