Life as a Deaf Audiologist Hearing in Harmony By Tina Childress .doc by tongxiamy


									          Life as a Deaf Audiologist Hearing in Harmony
                              By: Tina Childress, MA, CCC-A

• Sweet Nothing in My Ear
• Marlee Matlin on Dancing with the Stars
• Heather Whitestone McCallum (Miss America1995)
• The Young & The Restless
• Cold Case
• Law & Order
• ER
Recent Publicity

A Personal Perspective and Things I have learned...
• Grew up with normal hearing
• Switched majors from engineering (!) to audiology after taking a sign language class
• Worked as an educational audiologist
• Got sick during Spring Break 1999
• Co-testing in the audiology booth – realized something was wrong
• Tried medication with no success
• Eventual diagnosis:
– Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED)
It all started with…

Progressive hearing loss
• Started with mild-moderate hearing loss and progressed to severe profound loss within about
9 months
• Wore in-the-ear hearing aids all the way to power behind-the-ear hearing aids
• Articulation was affected
• Knew too much??
• Went through the normal stages of grieving
– Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance
• It can’t get much worse…
Hearing Pre-Implant (unaided)
Hearing Pre-Implant (hearing aids)

Work challenges
• Hearing tests
– “Raise your hand when you hear the beeps.”
– Struggled when testing with words or sentences
• Got help from co-workers
• Used FM system in the booth
• Meetings
– Used FM system
– Co-workers interpreted for me
• Hearing aid listening checks
– Could not do on low gain hearing aids
Making the decision…
Platinum Series
Platinum BTE
August 2000

Documenting your Journey
• Blogs, journals, picture books…
• Great way to express how you are feeling
• Writing what you hear and don’t hear can be helpful for
the programming audiologist
• Able to share your experiences with friends, family and
others who are thinking about getting one
– Scan your audiogram
– Upload pictures
– Upload videos
• Shows you how far you’ve come!

My Hook-up
• Given accessories
• Set magnet strength
• Mapping
– lows = geese honking
– mids = oboes playing
– highs = glass clinking
• “The first day is the worst day”
• Voices sounded like:

Aural rehabilitation
• Heirarchy of auditory skills seemed to happen sooooooooo s…l…o…w…l…y
– Awareness -varies as a function of my map
– Discrimination -more difficult in noise
– Identification -still learning new sounds every day!
– Comprehension -lucky I already have a language base…what about those kids that don’t?????
• Home-based auditory training = my language-endowed husband
• Books on tape/CD
• It got better…
Hearing Pre-Implant
Hearing Pre-Implant
(hearing aids)
Hearing Post-Implant

Factors that Influence Performance
• Age at onset of deafness
• Age at time of implantation
• Consistency of device use
• Family support and follow up
• Residual hearing
• Etiology
• Multiple handicapping conditions
• Other considerations
Work challenges -update
• Hearing tests
– Struggled much less with speech testing
• Still occasionally got help from co-workers or used FM system in the
• Meetings
– Able to follow along better but co-workers interpreted for me
when I missed something
• Hearing aid listening checks
– Had to make an accommodation to listen to a hearing aid
(acoustic) through my cochlear implant (electronic)

I liked it so much…
Harmony BTE
December 2005
Why do I love being bilateral?
• I feel balanced again
• Maddy can whisper into either ear
• It compliments my C-1 very well
– Need to focus on second side listening more!
• Listening in noise is easier
• I can localize
– so much better in meetings and for locating
• I have access to the new technology
• I can listen to music in stereo

• Maddy-n-Mia
• Phone
• Music
• 1:1 vs. group situations
• Articulation has improved
• I get to give back personally and professionally through the Bionic Ear Association Resources

Bionic Ear Association
• Consumer outreach program of Advanced Bionics
• BEA Audiologists
– Professionals to serve the consumer
• Volunteer Network
• Candidate Matching
• On Call Support
• Webinars
• Seminars and workshops
• Membership is free
– To join go to
• Advanced Bionics’ Online
Community for:
– Cochlear Implant Users/Parents
– Cochlear Implant Candidates
– Hearing Health Professionals
– School Professionals
– Anyone Who Wants to Learn
More About Cochlear Implants

• A web resource full of FREE (re)habilitation activities and ideas to support the development
of listening and language skills in children, adolescents and adults
The Listening Room
Tools for Schools

• Provides parents with support and guidance on issues related to education
• Assists cochlear implant programs in providing support to their local schools
• Supports school professionals who work with children who have cochlear implants
• E-Newsletters
• Webinars
• Workshops
• On Call Support Resources
• Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss
– Go to and type
“HOHAudiologists” in the Find the Group search bar
– Online community of cochlear implant recipients
(including some medical personnel)

To top