Tag Archives: accessories for CI’s

Bionic Band

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It’s all in the name…
What should I call the headbands?
Should I reference ears, or hearing or fashion?
For sure, “Bionic” will be Trademarked by the Institute, so the whole family sat around the table tonight reeling off various versions of Harry’s Ears and trying to come up with a cool name for the headband.
Maybe we don’t need a name , as
my all time goal is to get Cochlear Ltd to include the headband in the suitcase of accessories
you get when your child receives their implant(s).

Wouldn’t that be awesome as it is all very well being supplied pens with screwdrivers on one end and a million processor covers , but what about an accessory that keeps them on a head that is only 50 cms in circumference ?

So, Folks, I really hope some of you guys all over the world tuning in to my tales will also buy up big on the Bionic Headband. My next step will be to set up shop(online of course ).

And the big news , based on your feedback, i have pleaded to get the price down to $18 AUD . I will be making hot pink for girls and electric blue for boys.

So stay tuned for more details

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Summertime

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It has been said that between December and February all the hard work from the previous year that you have put into your child’s development starts to bear fruit . Everything they have absorbed throughout the year solidifies and they are able to accomplish their goals and grow.

It is Summertime.

We are 3/4 of the way through our summer holiday counting down the last week of a lovely break.
My goal was to get Harry walking by the end of the trip and I still have a bit of time to reach it- Just

Without a doubt he is having trouble working out how to balance.

I’ve mentioned it in the past , the ENT specialists do not link deafness and delayed gross motor skill development in children . But there are certainly some kids out there who struggle with balance along with the hearing impairment.

Despite this he is so eager to walk he just grabs a hand.. literally anyone’s , and waddles tilted to the side you are holding and off he goes. If you manage to stop him for a minute and try and get him to stand still and actually stand alone he has no idea. It is similar to watching any of us after a bottle of wine swaying and giggling but not really acknowledging that you aren’t standing up straight or standing!

And so he continues, thinking he can walk and having a ball because it means he can really play with his sisters. He has definitely improved this waddle whilst we’ve been away and if we can just crack the standing unaided he’ll be there. I am sure a few sessions with the Physio when we get home will assist with the solo standing and allow him to walk freely on Melbourne soil.

Speech progress this Summer has certainly moved on- not in leaps and bounds but the words he knows are getting clearer and clearer and some new ones have snuck in. Funny though when I show him pictures of animals he chooses to learn their sounds rather than their names. So we are stuck on Quack for duck and we now have Miaow for cat. His new obsession with Peppa Pig the British cartoon has not managed to increase his animal vocab but I have no doubt in a few weeks he’ll suddenly start saying ” oink oink” promptly followed by “Mr.Bull ” in a cockney accent.

We organised to get Harry an FM system before we left. Not a relic from our 80’s dancing days but a small microphone device that is used to enhance speech in noisy environments. Wirelessly it connects to a monitor with a microphone for you to speak directly into. It is primarily used in classrooms so the teacher can talk directly to the CI user . Whilst the teacher speaks the unit reduces any background noise between the CI wearer and the microphone user. Normally you wouldn’t get one of these units until your child starts school. Harry will be attending pre- school from February for 2 days , so I used to as a reason to request the device. It is made by Phonak and for more detail on this specific device check out their website
www.phonak.com.au and look on the FM system link.

It is an amazing piece of technology as not only does it work in a classroom environment but also with any electronic device with an audio jack. That is, a headphone connection.
So iPhones, iPads, etc can be used without any interference. The sound goes directly into the users head- how phenomenal is that?
I got Alice to download a whole series of Apps on my phone , pop them in a box and name it Harry’s Games (I actually just asked her to see if Fisher Price had any Apps and she did the rest unprompted and unaided) . He now navigates my phone to his box and plays merrily away with various Apps that focus on the alphabet and animals. All these repeat the names of objects and sounds and when the FM system is on he has that going straight into his head with no interference. I am thrilled that my new babysitter is also assisting with is speech development albeit he may end up with an “international accent” ( the toy industry term for a non American accent)
I can also use the FM system in the car with my iPhone to listen to nursery rhymes or anything on my iTunes library. Thank goodness as I was getting a bit fed up repeating Incey Wincey Spider over and over again!

After this discovery I started surfing the Web for other Apps that could assist with speech development. I thought that the Cochlear Ltd website had some listed but I was unable to find them. What I did find though was a site from the States by a Teacher of the Deaf listing her recommended Apps for Kids with a Hearing Impairment.
If you are interested checkout out the Blog
Getting from there to hear Blog by Tina Childress. She has a tab in the main menu ” Apps for IOS devices ” and lists all the relevant Apps there.

So a week left till school resumes and we race closer to the One Year Anniversary of Harry ‘s Switch On. Next Post I will tally up all his words to date and see where we stand one year in.

Till then………..

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How to wear the CI’s with a sun hat

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I am super excited writing this post. Tonight I met my friend Jane for an impromptu picnic dinner in the park and she brought along a sun hat I purchased for Harry that she was trying to make pockets to put the processors in.

The design so exceeded my expectations.

To be truthful I was doubtful it would work as putting pockets on the outside of a  sun hat and hoping the magnets would sit underneath when you couldn’t see if they were in place or not, was a tall order.  The hat was just a regular Toshi design ( found in most boutique kids wear and baby wear stores) but I bought a medium  size so that it wasn’t too tight – I was thinking the headband would need to go underneath.

So Jane has added some pockets to the outside  of the hat above the rim to house the processors . Then as on the headband design , there are small slots to feed the coil  and magnet through inside the hat. You have to move the magnets into place with the hat over the top but I am now pretty good at knowing where they sit on Harry’s head after 6 months of putting them on several times a day. I used the flashing lights of the processor to tell me the magnets were in place then tightened the hat with its drawstring. The hat also has a neck tie to ensure it doesn’t blow off. Tonight Harry rode and crawled around the park for over an hour with the hat on and was clearly hearing my calls as the microphones were on the outside of the hat rather than having fabric block some of the sound.

WOW 

It is incredible because I was wondering how Harry was going to cope through Summer with a headband and a hat. Certainly that option would be sweaty and hot and possibly unbearable.

But this is a revelation. My only concern is if something does happen to the hat we lose the CI’s but I have now stocked up on labels that read

“Harry’s Cochlear Implants. If found please phone ….”

What I actually wanted the sew-in labels to say was

“If you find these they are no use to you. It means Harry cannot hear anything and at $90,000 a pair  we really can’t lose them. So please phone…….. to return them”

I am sure that I will take as good care of the  hat as I do the headband  and I am sure Harry will treat it the same way as well. He knows it gives him access to sound and only once has he thrown his headband off in disgust….but that my friends in another story!!!!!!

PS. For those interested in headbands we have tweaked the design so no press studs are required. This will make them easier to make en- mass which I am still trying to do. Stay posted for more updates and I have photos if anyone is interested.

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Harry’s Headband

Are you interested in Harry’s headband design???
Do you have trouble keeping your little ones cochlear implants on all day. Does the pediatric kit drive you nuts?

If you are looking for something similar please contact me directly as I am happy to share the pattern with you or possibly provide you with one if you are in Australia.

My aim is to have a whole batch made up before the end of this year to distribute to those who need them or would like to try them. One of my readers has already benefited from giving me her feedback and I would be so happy if our design helped many others.
We have tweaked the design from the images below so the microphones are not covered by the fabric . I have had Australian Hearing and the Melbourne Cochlear Implant Clinic check it over and they both think the new design works well.

So please let me know if you are interested even if you live on the other side of the world from us- I am sure the issues are the same world wide!!!!

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