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Deaf riders - Anyone have a Cochlear Implant?

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  • Deaf riders - Anyone have a Cochlear Implant?

    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.
    "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

  • #2
    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?


    • #3
      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.



      • #4
        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!


        • #5
          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.
          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

          1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


          • #6
            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.
            ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~


            • Original Poster

              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.
              "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


              • #8
                My pal said she will be getting a new helmet to fit over both CIs.
                ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~


                • #9
                  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.


                  • #10
                    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?
                    Yes, I know how to spell. I'm using freespeling!



                    • #11

                      ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~


                      • #12
                        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.


                        • #13
                          Anybody actually know someone with CI only hearing? Can they understand speech without lip-reading?
                          Yes, I know how to spell. I'm using freespeling!



                          • #14
                            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?
                            ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~


                            • #15
                              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.
                              ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~


                              • #16
                                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.


                                • #17
                                  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.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    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?"
                                    "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by etc. View Post
                                      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.
                                      "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by chism View Post
                                        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!

                                        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!
                                        ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~