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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The way sound is heard by a child with a cochlear implant

“I'll try to make a visual picture that relates to the way sound is heard by a child with a cochlear implant. Suppose that you have to identify a four-legged animal, and you’ve not seen that animal before, but you have to figure out what it is. Maybe you have to draw it. Maybe you have to learn the name for it. Now, that animal is standing behind a bunch of trees. To see that animal, you have to look through tree trunks that are hiding big parts of that animal. Now, if you were looking through those trees with the equivalent of a hearing aid, you could probably only see the tail end of that animal, because you could only hear the low frequencies with that hearing aid. With a cochlear implant, though, you could see pieces of that animal’s head, pieces of its neck, its legs, its body, and pieces of its tail end, but you still would be missing pieces in between each of those that you could see. The reason I’m bringing this up for you to think about is because it’s important for us to realize that children who are using cochlear implants still don’t see the whole animal. They see more of a range of that animal, but they have to use their brains. They have to use what they already know about the world. They have to use their cognitive abilities to fill in those gaps to be able to put together a picture of that whole animal. That’s the kind of task that a child is facing using a cochlear implant.”
Dr. Patricia Spencer. Considerations for the Future: Putting It All Together, Presented at
Cochlear Implants and Sign Language conference, April, 2002.

1 comment:

  1. I really like that way of explaining it! Can I link to it?