After Robyn H.’s son, Jackson, was born with profound hearing loss, Robyn tried hearing aids to help him hear. After the hearing aids did not provide Jackson with enough sound (and he hated wearing them), they were eager to find another solution to help Jackson hear. Although they knew of cochlear implants, Robyn was even more thrilled to find out Cochlear had off-the-ear processors available. See how this sound processor wearing option helps Jackson hear comfortably:

Jackson with off-the-ear processors playing piano“Our 2-year-old son was born deaf. He failed his newborn screening, and later we found out that he has a genetic mutation called connexin 26 that causes non-syndromic hearing loss (meaning hearing loss that is not associated with other signs and symptoms). He did not respond to any sound at all with hearing aids, and he hated wearing them behind his ear. Cochlear implants were always an option in our minds from the very beginning, and learning about today’s technology and the reputation that Cochlear has only deepened our decision to go down that path.

Off-the-ear wearing option

When we found out Cochlear made the Cochlear Kanso® Sound Processor, we were sold! It is the only off-the-ear processor with two microphones. We were worried about behind-the-ear processors after Jackson disliked hearing aids, but with the Kanso, he has the comfort of wearing it off the ear, so it was a win-win for us. He is a rough and tumble boy and gets wild with his older brother, so they can fall off during play. Luckily, we always have the safety lines attached and he is very diligent about putting them back on himself when they do fall off.

We use the total communication method with him every day, combining both signed and spoken language. He signs very well and is progressing with leaps and bounds in his spoken speech. Even when his ‘ears’ are off, he still tends to use his speech when communicating. He has been hearing within normal speech levels with his cochlear implants for about the past six to seven months and has been activated for one year now.

Excited for Jackson’s future

Jackson with off-the-ear processorsDuring the first couple of months after activation, a neighbor a few houses down was playing loud music. It could barely be heard from our yard, but he stopped and pointed to his ear indicating he could hear it. I was so surprised and so excited! He enjoys hearing new sounds and has a good time mimicking different noises he hears. When he plays, he makes appropriate noise distinction between cars, monster trucks, motorcycles, police sirens, etc. He even has conversations between animals and cars, pretending to be the voices for them. He is a typical 2 year old.

Accessories options for the future

Although we are not yet to the point of needing certain accessories, like the Cochlear™ True Wireless TV Streamer and True Wireless Mini Microphone, we are glad that we have those options available to us for his use when the time comes. This summer will be his first camping trip, and we are excited for the experience of new sounds and using the Nucleus Aqua+ for Kanso* at the lake.

We enjoy letting our family, friends and the general inquiring public know what kind of technology he is using and how it all works. We are excited to see what the future holds for him and his ‘ears.’”

Are you eager to find comfortable off-the-ear sound processors with two microphones for your child? Learn more about the Kanso today.

*The Kanso Sound Processor with the Aqua+ is water resistant to level IP68 of the International Standard when used with LR44 alkaline or nickel metal hydride disposable batteries.
Cara Lippitt
Cara Lippitt is the Senior Manager, Social Media Strategy at Cochlear Americas. Cara is inspired by the stories of the recipients that she is able to tell and the incredible journeys they have taken. Cara was born and raised in Colorado and adores the mountains, snow and the world of musical theatre.