Saturday, 29 October 2011

Misconception(s) about hearing-aids

In my last post, I talked about the lack of/poor awareness of many people on the contraption called 'hearing-aids'. For starters, my first foray into the artificial hearing world started with the 'body aid'- a slightly bigger than a matchbox piece of sound amplifier worn in a 'bra' with wires which ends with earmoulds in the ears. That with the brightly colored and mismatched bra always attracted attention (99.9%unwanted). I graduated to the behind-the-ear  (BTE) aids from the time I was 7 and have since remained on them. So no in-the-canal (ITC) aids for me as they cannot help the level of my profound deafness *sad face as that could save me from barrages of questions and unwanted attention* And cochlear implants (CI)? Another story for another day.

So deafness plus hearing-aid=perfect hearing? No! No!! Number one misconception. One should not think that placing a contraption into the ear of a deaf person would dramatically catapult that person into the land of perfect hearing. A friend sent me the following link this morning and I wasn't particularly impressed with the news article.
I have a number of questions re: the donations of hearing-aids. Do they honestly think that by donating hearing-aids, they are giving the 'gift of hearing' which would in a twinkle of the eye transform the person back into a hearing person? That statement smacks of outright condescension and ignorance. Giving hearing-aids does NOT automatically make a deaf child hear. There was no mention of hearing rehabilitation. You give someone a hearing-aid and just walk away? I can only presume that these deaf individuals do not have good speech language skills. No mention of speech and language
 therapy. "The ability to learn is diminished". The ability to learn WHAT?? And what else are they going to do about that? I have to say that these
half-measures are not good enough. Charitable acts like these would frustrate not just the donor(s) but also the recipients.

NOT EVERY DEAF PERSON CAN BENEFIT FROM HEARING-AIDS. I agree with my friend who read the article and said that focus should be on the language and cognitive development of the deaf individuals.

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