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Sensorineural hearing

Sensorineural hearing loss and is the only child with hearing aids at his school. He has behind-the-ear hearing aids with FM systems. Over the last few months, it has been noted that Jim does not wear his hearing aids and when asked, he states that he is fine and can manage without the hearing aids. a) Explain the likely factors that might be contributing to his rejection of amplification. Rejection of hearing aids by children can range from a number of factors which vary widely.

One of the possible factors is that when the hearing aids were implanted in Jim, he was too young to realize it and now has just reached an age when he can make wise decisions for himself. He probably finds the ordeal of having to wear hearing aids too much to bear and very unnerving. Behind-the-ear hearing aids are supposed to be generally accepted and liked by the user if they can be used appropriately. In the event that the user is not really in the mood of using them or feels that they have been imposed on one, then it is highly likely that he will reject them sooner or later.

For Jim, he has probably reached at the point where he feels he does not need the aids any longer. He probably has noticed that he is rather odd and does not look like other people. A second possible reason why he rejects the hearing aids could be that they are not actually helping him to hear after all. Behind-the-ear hearing aids can malfunction and cause problems for the user. It is possible that Jim has suddenly noticed that he cannot hear well enough and so does not see the value of continuing wearing the hearing aids.

Finally, Jim could have been meeting with people – whether fellow teenagers or even adults – who are deaf and yet do not use any hearing aids but solely rely on the use of sign language. As such, these people will most likely point out to him that it is no use using hearing aids but he can learn a lot better using sign language. Besides, they might prevail upon him to stop using the hearing aids because doing it is effectively denying one’s condition and not being realistic. Using themselves as examples, they might have succeeded in convincing him to follow in their steps.

He might have been told that manualism, the use of natural, sign language, as opposed to oralism was the way to go as the later made one a slave of oneself and dramatically inhibited the ability of the learner to learn certain languages. Being an odd one in his school, he must have believed that no-one ought to use artificial hearing aids. b) Outline various ways in which you might address these factors. (25 marks) 1. The need for accepting one’s condition – it is critical that Jim understands that his condition does not allow him to hear properly without the hearing aids that he is given.

Therefore, and on this basis only, he ought to be ready to accept that he either opts to continue using the aids or he will not hear as he has been hearing. Denial of the situation or condition will only complicate matters for him. 2. Too late to learn sign language – according to developmental theorists, the learning using signed language is greatly an age factor and the older a person gets the harder it is for one to learn it. Therefore, Jim ought to be educated to understand that there is no alternative to his condition regardless of what others might be telling him. 3.

It is important that Jim is made to understand, in a loving way, the reasons that led to the decision of fitting him with the aids being taken so that he clearly understands that it was taken for his own benefit. This can greatly help him appreciate the condition and use the hearing aids as required. Reference Elfenbein. J. , Bentler, R. , Davis, J. & Niebuhr, D. (1988) Status of children’s hearing aids relative to monitoring practices. Ear and Hearing, 9, 212-217. Q2. Critically discuss the following statement: “Sign language can always be acquired later if spoken language doesn’t develop”. (25 marks)

Hearing, speech formation, and development, and language learning are closely interrelated stages in the life of a young child. This is in essence an indication that any variation in one will definitely result in the changing of another. Commonly, when one has an impairment of hearing, then that child’s language development and speech formation will be hampered or delayed accordingly. It is always necessary to ensure that all malfunctions in hearing are detected and diagnosed early enough as this will ensure that the child develops normally his/her speech and learns the ideal language without problems.

Speaking is, therefore, a process which depends on ability to hear. This means that if one can hear then one can speak very well and also learn language very well. This will eliminate the need for sign language. Actually, sign language becomes only necessary when there is need for alternative learning. And this need for alternative learning only comes when there is no other way that one can learn the language normally – which in turn happens only when one is deaf or hard of hearing. So this statement is far from fact and truth.

First, if sign language has to develop at all there has to be a malfunctioning of the hearing ability of a person because only then can speech be affected calling for alternative language. So sign language will not be expected to come anywhere later in life. Although it is true that if spoken language does not develop then sign language may develop in its place, this is not always the case. For currently there are technological advances which have allowed for use of oral language learning devices which enable those with hearing impairment to hear and learn language as they desire.

If this is the case, then there is no need for sign language. Technological advances have ensured that even those people who cannot find any other alternative to their hearing problems can be fitted with hearing aids, albeit in so unnatural ways, which help them to learn languages. They can live and learn any language they desire without having to resort to sign language. In this context, it is true that sign language can come only as a last resort when al else has failed. Actually sign language is just a choice. There is no way it can be expected to develop just because spoken language cannot develop.

However, it is remotely possible that one can learn sign language when after trying all other methods to learn language and failing. This, though difficult, is because children at a certain age are best placed to learn sign language. After this stage, learning becomes a complicated affair. On this basis, therefore, it is true that one may learn sign language as a last resort. The training ought to be done more in the same manner as an adult who has never gone to any school is approached. Otherwise learning is a process needing to carefully be applied in the contexts of age and time.

As mentioned earlier, people who have no hearing difficulties face many challenges learning sign language even if they dedicate themselves to do it. On the contrary, people who are deprived of hearing become good communicators almost without so much of an effort. There is a link between hearing and learning language as earlier mentioned and no person can hope to develop language learning skills by use of sign language just as one wishes as it can be impossible in certain cases. Reference Johnstone, T. (1982). The role of sign language in the education of prelingually profoundly deaf children.

Q3. Critically discuss the use of amplification/cochlear implants in children who are in a bilingual-bicultural educational facility. (25 marks) The use of amplification/cochlear implants is no doubt a good move towards ensuring that there is a remedy for people who cannot effectively hear and by extension people who cannot learn a certain language. Learning is very critical for everyone, and given that hearing impairments are able to hinder language development then an intervention, regardless of its implications, is a welcome development.

That aside, amplification/cochlear implants help children with hearing impairment to articulate their speech as such ones usually have a problem with speech formation, speech being something that is learnt from others and from what the child hears. With such interventions, therefore, the hard of hearing children would find it difficult to learn how to speak. However, these devices can only be effective when they are used for kids in a setting where only one culture and/or one specific language are used. Where multiple languages are present, it will mean that the child will have problems learning the relevant vowels for each language.

This is because learning using amplification/cochlear implants is based on detection of sound vibrations as they are registered in these devices. The vowels of the particular language have to be preset by the device if they are to be registered. Therefore, if the learning process takes place in a multi-lingual setting, the child, who is very young and has not developed the ability to process sound waves in any other way, will find it confusing. He/she will still continue focusing on the language programmed in the amplification/cochlear implants and so will totally miss out the lessons.

In different cultures, such languages will also end to vary as the child meets new or different people, or same people who speak different languages on different occasions. Unless these devices are made with these considerations in mind, it becomes very difficult for such a child to use them. Still amplification/cochlear implants come with side effects. First, they can hamper any other hearing ability that the child might have retained. This happens once they are implanted. Secondly, they expose such children to risks of cancer and ear infections.

Then, culturally, it is unethical in certain communities for artificial learning aids to be used. Such a child might be the subject of ridicule and even social stigma from peers and other people. Reference Flexer, C. (1999). Facilitating Hearing & Listening in Young Children. Singular Publishing Q4. Providing the diagnosis of deafness to parents is a complex and challenging issue for audiologists. Discuss how you would approach this task in the case of a 3 year old diagnosed with a moderately severe hearing loss, considering various possible influences on the approach you would adopt.

(25 marks) Losses in life are never received positively by the majority of the people. Depending on the severity and the nature of the consequences of the loss, different people will respond differently regardless of the loss. However, all forms of response indicate a level of stress on the person. Therefore, prior to disclosing any episodic news to parents of a three-year old child, it is important to understand how she will possibly react to the loss of hearing. The approach will take into consideration the context in which these parents live.

For in stance, if they live in places where there are many other deaf people or deaf parents, then they are likely to be less affected by the news of loss of hearing. On the contrary, if they are from an area where loss of hearing is not a common issue and theirs is likely to be the first or among the first, then they are likely to be very much affected with the news. Having this in mind will determine the real approach. If the parents or one of them is deaf, the more likely that one will accept the situation.

Whichever is the case, the approach will seek to minimize the shock and even the denial that almost certainly follows such a disclosure. For parents who have witnessed deaf cases before in their family, they can be told right away that their child has moderately severe hearing impairment. Those who have never experienced deafness need to be given time to go through anxiety, and probably counseled on the real meaning of the condition. Such ones also ought to be told how well they can cope with the state of their child, including how to employ the use of alternative hearing aids.

By applying the use of the stress response graph, it is possible to have the parents informed of the episode without having them breaking down or being overcome with grief but having them accepting the situation as it is and moving on. This can be done by first rating their stress threshold. Waiting for the point when their stress threshold is highest before letting them know of the state of their child will greatly help them grief well and without negative effects on themselves.

For when the stress threshold is high enough people are more likely to cope with even the most stressful situations. Therefore, depending on their context as evaluated from an interview with them, the news will be broken when they are better prepared to receive any kind of news without the likelihood of being affected negatively. Using the stress response graph, it will be possible to determine the time this point will come. And it comes at different times for different parents from different contexts.

Being a young child, however, it is true that the news will have a greater impact on the parents than it would have been if it was an adult or a more grown person. In this case, it will take the parents a longer time before accepting their dilemma. They will in turn need to be prepared for a longer period before they are told. The aim is to have them psychologically prepared for such a condition. They have to foresee themselves dealing with a child who cannot really hear, and probably talk about what they can do in the event this happened.

It is always good to keep them guessing what could be wrong with their child but also not to let too many hints drop before the right time. Since they brought the child for treatment they might be already suspecting something of the sort and so trying to outrightly deny that it is true can give them false hopes. One has to show moderation. Reference Hewson, D. (1997). “Coping with loss of ability: “Good grief” or episodic stress responses? ” Journal of Social Science and Medicine, 44(8), pp1129-1139. Word count: 2,202

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