Does the Freedom Bodyworn Give Better Sound than the BTE?

nucleus freedom BDW

VS.

nucleus freedom BTE

In meeting with my daughter’s school audiologist yesterday, he mentioned that he was under the impression that the sound produced by the Nucleus Freedom Bodyworn processor is superior to that of the BTE model.

We wonder if this is indeed true. According to what we’ve heard, and as was described in great length at the most recent Cochlear Celebration, both kinds of Freedom processors are the same – as they are completely modular. The only difference between them is the battery power.

We wonder what Cochlear would say to the audiologist’s impressions. Probably they would vehemently disagree. Similarly, at the Celebration they denied any meaningful difference between using rechargeable or alkaline batteries, while some users swear that there is a noticeable loss of quality while using rechargeables.

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Broward Times – Family must sell home to fund implant for deaf daughter

The family of a young Florida girl that was denied cochlear implants by her insurance company is faced with having to sell their home in order to come up with funds for cochlear implant surgery.

The Article in the Broward Times notes how the insurance company denied coverage as it was a preexisting condition. Since the cost of cochlear implant surgery is near the $100,000 range, the sale of their home is required in order to come up with the large funds.

Donations can be given to the orginazation listed in the article.

Although one’s heart does go out to the parents of this girl, one cannot blame the insurance company for this denial. Although insurance companies tend to misbehave in these coverages, especially regarding bilateral implants, this case is justified. I don’t agree with those who claim that the denial is a violation of discrimination laws, and I would rather focus on getting this girl the help she so desperately needs.

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New York Times Article on Follow Up Hearing Test for Newborns

Newborn babyThe New York Times has authored an informative article on the lack of follow-up testing for newborns that fail the initial hearing screening. It seems that although most infants are screened for hearing loss at birth, they tend not to follow up with further testing.

We guess that this is due to the lack of encouragement from the family physician. We remember when our daughter failed the hearing screening at birth, our doctor was all reassuring that nothing is wrong. We were temporarily lulled into a false sense of security by his claims.

It is important that family physicians become more educated regarding infant hearing loss and the treatments available. By becoming aware of the importance of early hearing loss detection and intervention, many hearing impaired children would receive treatment earlier on.

The Hearing Loss Fact Sheet shows the costs of a hearing impaired person when they are not treated timely. Now, with the advent of cochlear implants, children should be receiving them in much greater numbers.

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Controversy over Official Definition of Auditory Verbal Therapy

There is a disagreement between distinguished AVTs regarding the new official description of Auditory Verbal Therapy as defined by the current governing body A.G. Bell.

The primary concern is over the language of the description which states that Auditory Verbal Therapy is to “Promote early diagnosis of hearing loss in newborns, infants, toddlers, and young children, followed by immediate audiologic management and Auditory-Verbal therapy.”

This language may be used to infer that older school-aged children are not beneficiaries of the Auditory Verbal Method, as it is geared rather to infants and young (read: not school-aged) children.

Prominent Auditory Verbal Therapists in the New York area, such as Anne Kearney and Jane Madell have voiced their concerns over this matter. They are afraid that school-aged children that do need Auditory Verbal Therapy will be denied access to auditory verbal therapy by their school districts. The School District can claim that the “official description” of AVT states that it is only intended for “young children”.

Shantall Hall, a spokeswoman for the A.G. Bell Academy, feels that this is of no concern. The language is only intended for those that receive therapy from a young age, but not to exclude older children that have recently began Auditory Verbal Therapy.

Nevertheless, there is concern that the School Districts can interpret the new wording negatively and deny vital AVT services to children that can benefit greatly from it.

If you agree with Jane and Anne, let your opinion be heard. Write your feelings to A.G. Bell and let them know how you feel on this matter.

Send message to A.G. Bell

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Babyworn and Snugfit – More Details

As previously noted, Cochlear is about to release the Babyworn accessory for the Nucleus Freedom. This will enable the BTE controller to be worn on the small ears of babies with a small controller that will attach to the baby’s clothing in a variety of ways.

Cochlear is making the Babyworn system available to children born after April 11, 2002 for free. They will be sending out postcards announcing this offer.

Read more about the Babyworn product and its availability to Nucleus Users.

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Babyworn is Here

Cochlear Americas announced today the arrival of their newest products for the Nucleus BTE system for babies: The Nucleus Babyworn.

Read the Press Release

View Babyworn Product Description

Is this going to be the end of the Nucleus BodyWorn System, or will parents still prefer the Bodyworn over the BTE for young children?

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Cochlear is Listening to You

FreedomCochlear Corp. recently sent out a survey to its users and volunteers with a host of questions relating to their products and services. This is a wonderful opportunity to make your feelings heard on topics ranging from their cochlear implant speech processors, accessories, online shopping, overall cochlear implant support, troubleshooting, and anything of interest to you as a cochlear implant parent or user.

Since they do not have everyone’s contact information, it would do them and you a great service to take part in this important survey. Here is the message we received:

 

Cochlear Americas is focused on identifying ways we can help improve our
relationship with members of our recipient family. We've made a lifetime
commitment to be your hearing health partner, so we want to know how you
feel about your experiences with Cochlear. In an effort to capture your 
opinions, we've prepared a brief survey. We greatly appreciate your 
participation.
 Thank you!
Cochlear Americas

Take Me to the Nucleus Cochlear Implant Recipient Survey

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Are There Actually So Many Deaf Children?

There are various statistics that state the birth rate of hearing impaired to normal hearing children is around 3 of every 1,000 births, with one of those 3 profoundly deaf, or about 1/10 of 1% of the general population.

When doing research for our T-Shirt business, we made a startling discovery. If the numbers above are true, it would mean that approximately 33 children a day born in the U.S. are profoundly deaf. This would indicate approximately 20,000 children a year are born in the U.S. that are profoundly deaf!

When you add up all the numbers, there should be a lot more implant surgeries being performed. However, sadly, only 10-15% of all candidates ever receive a cochlear implant.

This is reflected in the WordTracker Query that I recently performed. Doing research on the words “infant hearing loss”, resulted in only 10 searches per day, with that being the most searched term of all related keywords!

The fact is that there are so many deaf born children every day in the U.S. but so little is being done for them.

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Plastic Playground Equipment and Cochlear Implants

Long Plastic SlideIt is a well advised message that parents of young children with cochlear implants should take heed – especially for the summer. DO NOT let your child slide down a plastic slide with their implant on their head. The static electricity caused by sliding down will zap the program out of the processor.  You will have to go back to your implant center to have the processor reprogrammed.

However, the newer implants seem to be able to withstand minor static electricity, such as walking with your socks on a carpeted floor with the heat on. But sliding down a large slide in the summer will probably be enough to zap the program.

Remind your child to remove the coils from their head just before sliding down. Your child will likely not want to cooperate, as it takes a lot of the fun away.

This once happened to us and we had to get the processor reprogrammed. However, if it is far away and you don’t want to have to bring your child in, you can FedEx it to them and they will reinstall the most recent map without actually having to test your child. If your child is due a new mapping soon, it is probably wise to do the mapping now.

This “minor” inconvenience is another one of those “reminders” that your child actually is deaf!

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Myth # 1 – “Cochlear Implants Connect to the Brain”

Drawing of Cochlear ImplantThis one is easy to figure out!

The myth originates from just about anyone seeing a cochlear implant on a user’s head for the first time. Immediately, the assumption is that the coil and the wires leading up to it are transferring signals directly into the brain.

Of course, the cochlear implant (both the internal or external components) itself is not attached at all to the brain, as is illustrated in this drawing from the National Institute of Health. However, come to think about it, ordinary hearing is actually accomplished by “wires” (nerves) transferring “signals” (physioelectrical impulses) to the brain.

So it turns out that cochlear implants aren’t much different after all.

 Cochlear Implant Myths – Learn the true facts and how to properly educate people about them

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