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Old 12-23-2006, 09:43 PM   #1
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A WONDERFUL Holiday Story for All !

Here is a Holiday story that is sure to melt the hardest of hearts:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/n...nd/6200827.stm



Deaf twins to hear joy of Christmas
Dot Kirby
BBC Northern Ireland health correspondent



Like children the world over, Curtis and Reece Flanagan will not hear Santa coming down the chimney this Christmas Eve.

But what they will hear - for the first time - will be the squeals of delight with which each will open their presents on Christmas morning.



They will hear the crackling of logs in the festive grate and the sound of their classmates singing Jingle Bells. Curtis and Reece are three-year-old identical twins who were born deaf.

But in August, they each underwent a miracle operation. They had cochlear implants fitted. And it means they can now hear for the first time.

So the twins really got their best present ever three months ago when their implants were switched on.




'Difficult to control'

The implants place electrodes deep inside the ear. These produce impulses which are transmitted to brain and interpreted as sound.

Before their implants, Curtis and Reece were trapped in a world they could not hear - or understand.

Their mother Orla says that as a result their behaviour was often difficult to control.

"Anything they wanted, they couldn't tell me. It was so frustrating for them, so frustrating for me - the whole house was in chaos," she recalls.



But since their operations, the boys' behaviour has improved remarkably. And Orla is delighted with their progress.

"They are able to say Santa for the first time, they are able to point at the lights on the tree and say 'Christmas tree' and 'lights'", she says.



At Belfast City Hospital surgeon Joe Toner has pioneered fitting cochlear implants.

He is very pleased with how the boys' speech and language has developed.




And he believes their operations have given them a bright future:

"I think this has the potential to transform their lives," he said.
"They probably will be able to attend mainstream school, they won't have to have segregated education and, hopefully, they will be able to integrate in most activities with their peers, in a way that may not have been possible if they had not had their implants."



This year, Mr Toner has fitted implants to the Flanagans and eight other children.

Whatever is in the Christmas stockings of these children, it will not beat the gift they received during the year.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I told you that it would melt your heart.


Have a wonderful and blessed Holiday season, everyONE. And may your new year be full of positive possibilities!


AS ONE, debbie
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Old 12-24-2006, 05:32 PM   #2
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Good one!!!
Nice to hear a positive story once in awhile...especially around this time of year. Thanks.
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Old 12-24-2006, 08:47 PM   #3
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That's so wonderful to read about. Thanks for sharing, and happy holidays.
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Old 12-26-2006, 02:27 AM   #4
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wow technology rocks!! that is so cool!
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Old 12-26-2006, 04:23 PM   #5
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I read this in the paper the other day

Good news from Norn Iron for a change
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Old 12-27-2006, 02:22 PM   #6
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What a great story! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lara Mullen
I read this in the paper the other day

Good news from Norn Iron for a change

You're all very welcomed. I'm glad that this story really brightened a lot of people's holidays.


Now it's up to us to keep the positive vibes going all year

through.
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:41 PM   #8
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Some interesting stuff about cochlear implants from Wikipedia:
Quote:
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that can help provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing...Unlike other kinds of hearing aids, the cochlear implant does not amplify sound, but works by directly stimulating any functioning auditory nerves inside the cochlea with electrical impulses.
.................................................
An implant does not restore or create normal hearing. Instead, under the appropriate conditions, it can give a deaf person a useful auditory understanding of the environment and help them to understand speech, although post-implantation therapy may be required. According to researchers at the University of Michigan, approximately 100,000 people worldwide have received cochlear implants; roughly half are children and half adults. The vast majority are in developed countries due to the prohibitive cost of the device, surgery and post-implantation therapy...

CI's have met dramatic controversy in the global deaf community, sparking controversy and emotional debates about language, Deaf Culture, choice, and the death of Deaf culture. The controversy concerns the basic right to choose a language. Many individuals whose first language is sign language, for example ASL American Sign Language, are actively debating and protesting the use of cochlear implants.
.................................................
The introduction of cochlear implants has seen the renewal of a century-old debate about models of deafness that often has the hearing parents of deaf children on one side and the deaf community on the other. On the other hand, modern medical ethics law dictates that the decision of whether to get a cochlear implant is up to the patient or the legal guardian of the patient. Therefore, political debate about whether deafness is a disability or not is irrelevant to the current medical profession. On the other hand, whether society treats deafness as a disability has direct bearing on government policy...

...................................................
There are a number of factors that determine the degree of success to expect from the operation and the device itself...A prime candidate is described as:

--having severe to profound sensorineural hearing impairment in both ears
--having a functioning auditory nerve
--having lived a short amount of time without hearing
--having good speech, language, and communication skills, or in the case of infants and young children, having a family willing to work toward speech and language skills with therapy
--not being benefited by other kinds of hearing aids
--having no medical reason to avoid surgery
--living in or desiring to live in the "hearing world"
--having realistic expectations about results
--having the support of family and friends.

...Once a cochlear implant is put in place, any residual hearing a person has in that ear most likely will be destroyed. For this reason, people with mild or moderate sensorineural hearing loss or conductive hearing loss are generally not candidates for cochlear implantation. After the implant is put into place, sound no longer travels via the ear canal and middle ear but will be picked up by a microphone and sent through the device's speech processor to the implant's electrodes inside the cochlea. Thus, most candidates have been diagnosed with profound sensorineural hearing loss...Post-lingually deaf adults and pre-lingually deaf children form two distinct groups of potential users of cochlear implants with different needs and outcomes. Those who have lost their hearing as adults were the first group to find cochlear implants useful, in regaining some comprehension of speech and other sounds. If an individual has been deaf for a long period of time, the brain may begin using the area of the brain normally used for hearing for other functions. If such a person receives a cochlear implant, the sounds can be very disorienting, and the brain often will struggle to readapt to sound.
.........................................................
The other group of customers are parents of children born deaf who want to ensure that their children grow up with good spoken language skills. Research shows that congenitally deaf children who receive cochlear implants at a young age (less than 2 years) have better success with them than congenitally deaf children who first receive the implants at a later age, though the critical period for utilizing auditory information does not close completely until adolescence.
............................................................
A cochlear implant will not cure deafness or hearing impairment, but is a prosthetic substitute for hearing. Some recipients find them very effective, others somewhat effective and some feel overall worse off with the implant than without. For people already functional in spoken language who lose their hearing, cochlear implants can be a great help in restoring functional comprehension of speech, especially if they have only lost their hearing for a short time. British Member of Parliament Jack Ashley received a cochlear implant in 1994 at age 70 after 25 years of deafness, and reported that he has no trouble speaking to people he knows one on one, even on the telephone, although he might have difficulty with a new voice or with a busy conversation, and still had to rely to some extent on lipreading. He described the robotic sound of human voices perceived through the cochlear implant as "a croaking Dalek with laryngitis". Even modern cochlear implants have at most 24 electrodes to replace the 16,000 delicate hair cells that are used for normal hearing. However, the sound quality delivered by a cochlear implant is often good enough that many users do not have to rely on speech-reading (lipreading). Rush Limbaugh, U.S. talk radio show host, says that everything sounds normal except that he cannot pick out the melody of new music that he had not heard prior to becoming deaf.

Adults who have grown up deaf often find the implants ineffective or irritating because there is too much auditory information to interpret. Sound from a cochlear implant is not the same as the sound of the anatomy of a functioning ear. Some who were orally educated and used amplifying hearing aids have been more successful with cochlear implants, as use of the hearing aid functioned to maintain perception of sound.
......................................................
Cochlear implants for congenitally deaf children are often considered to be most effective when implanted at a young age, during the critical period in which the brain is still learning to interpret sound; hence they are implanted before the recipients can decide for themselves. Critics question the ethics of such invasive elective surgery on healthy children. They point out that manufacturers and specialists have exaggerated the efficacy and downplayed the risks of a procedure that they stand to gain from. On the other hand, Andrew Solomon of the New York Times states that "Much National Association of the Deaf propaganda about the danger of implants is alarmist; some of it is positively inaccurate."

Much of the strongest objection to cochlear implants has come from the Deaf community, which consists largely of pre-lingually deaf people whose first language is sign language. Individuals who are deaf and the Deaf community do not share the pathological view of deafness held by the hearing parents of deaf children that holds deafness as a disability to be "fixed". Individuals who are deaf celebrate their culture as all languages celebrate their unique history and culture. Many hearing people, on the other hand, feel that refusing to implant deaf children is unethical, comparable to refusal to treat any other handicap or disease which has an effective treatment. Many individuals who have hearing and do not know or are not comfortable with sign language may have strong concerns about having a child that uses their hands to talk. Individuals who are deaf may feel that it is just another form of mental and physical abuse in the long history of misunderstanding, abuse and pain they have had to endure. The conflict over these opposing models of deafness has raged since the 18th century, and cochlear implants are the latest in a history of medical interventions promising to turn a deaf child into a hearing child — or, more accurately, a child with a mild or moderate hearing impairment. Critics argue that the cochlear implant and the subsequent therapy often become the focus of the child's identity, at the expense of a positive deaf identity and the ease of communication in sign language. Measuring the child's success by their success in hearing and speech will lead to a poor self-image as "disabled" (because the implants do not produce normal hearing) rather than having the healthy self-concept of a proud deaf person.


Some writers have noted that children with cochlear implants are more likely to be educated orally and without access to sign language. Children with implants are also often isolated from other deaf children and from sign language, and instead are "married" to a team of hearing experts who will monitor his cochlear implant and adjust the speech processor, at great expense. It is, however, probably less than what a signing deaf individual costs society. According to Johnston, cochlear implants have been one of the technological and social factors implicated in the decline of sign languages in the developed world. Some of the more extreme responses from deaf activists have labelled the widespread implantation of children as "cultural genocide". As cochlear implants began to be implanted into deaf children in the mid to late 1980s, the deaf community responded with protests in the US, UK, Germany, Finland, France and Australia. Opposition continues today but in many cases has softened. As the trend for cochlear implants in children grows, deaf-community advocates have tried to counter the "either or" formulation of oralism vs manualism with a "both and" approach; some schools now are successfully integrating cochlear implants with sign language in their educational programs. However, some opponents of sign language education argue that the most successfully implanted children are those who are encouraged to listen and speak rather than overemphasize their visual sense. Many progressive educators have been successful using a method called Total Communication in which students learn sign language and all possible ways to develop language for expressive, receptive interaction with other students and their environment.
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:48 PM   #9
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My mother and I caught a snippet about this story on TV actually over the weekend. Thanks for sharing it, Jamila. It is refreshing to hear something so positive and with good ending!
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:14 PM   #10
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Originally posted by Carek1230
My mother and I caught a snippet about this story on TV actually over the weekend. Thanks for sharing it, Jamila. It is refreshing to hear something so positive and with good ending!

You're very welcomed, Karen - I'm so glad that you enjoyed the article and the TV snippet.


It just sounded like a positive story to share with others, especially over the Holidays.
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila

It just sounded like a positive story to share with others, especially over the Holidays.
They can be shared all year round
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Old 12-31-2006, 02:34 AM   #12
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Cool.

I wonder though, how great would it really be to hear for the first time. I know that sounds silly, but wouldn't the first sounds you hear be more shocking and bizarre than anything else?
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:14 AM   #13
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Great to hear a good story.
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Old 12-31-2006, 02:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lara Mullen


They can be shared all year round

I appreciate your suggestion, Lara, but from looking at the threads that generally run in this forum, positive news normally generates less interest that the more controversial news.


Thus, it's hard to get people to pay attention to the positive but I have noticed that our willingness to pay attention to this kind of news story is increased over the Holidays.


It's all good - and I thank everybody's enthusiastic response to this thread.



COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS (my new year's resolution)


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Old 12-31-2006, 05:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila



I appreciate your suggestion, Lara, but from looking at the threads that generally run in this forum, positive news normally generates less interest that the more controversial news.


Thus, it's hard to get people to pay attention to the positive but I have noticed that our willingness to pay attention to this kind of news story is increased over the Holidays.


It's all good - and I thank everybody's enthusiastic response to this thread.



COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS (my new year's resolution)


doesn't matter if it doesn't generate as much interest.
you can always post it in LS too.

happy new year
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