Cochlear Implants And Other Communication Disorders

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I first learned about cochlear implants in my special education class. My initial thought was that they were a beneficial advancement in technology and in the medical field for those who were deaf or hard of hearing. In my field experience, I observed a sixth grade teacher at Donnell Middle School. In her class, I observed two students who had cochlear implants and an interpreter who was in front of the classroom signing what the teacher was saying. I thought that was really neat to see and experience for the first time. Through further research on cochlear implants, I came to the conclusion that cochlear implants do not fix the patient’s hearing entirely and that there are many positive and negative factors to consider when getting a cochlear implant. So what is a cochlear implant? According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin” (NIDCD). Cochlear implants do not restore a person’s hearing and work differently from a hearing aid. The implants, “bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Signals generated by the implant are sent by way of the auditory nerve to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound”

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