Change the future for a deaf child

Discussion in 'Deaf News' started by Miss-Delectable, Jan 11, 2009.

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  1. Miss-Delectable

    Miss-Delectable New Member

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    Change the future for a deaf child | thespectrum.com | The Spectrum

    Today, I want to talk about Hannah, a bright, sociable 7 year old who is the beloved youngest of my friends LeAnn and Rob Wankier's seven children.

    My reasons for dedicating my "platform" to Hannah are similar to reasons why Ed Yeates wrote "Insurance Company Won't Cover Girl's Bilateral Cochlear Implant" which was broadcast on Dec. 10 at 10:10 p.m. by KSL-TV.

    Hannah, adopted from China as an infant and profoundly deaf, received a cochlear implant in July 2006. Her implant coincided with her starting school and allowed her to learn to read and begin vital socialization. However, her progress is limited because her right-sided implant only goes to her left brain where reasoning takes place. She can't receive information through her left ear which would feed the right hemisphere of her brain where creative, social events are processed.

    She desperately needs another implant to become a fully functional adult. With bilateral implants, Hannah's hearing will become much more normal, because she will receive input from two ears, rather than one. Her young brain will process information, switching between hemispheres according to whether she's listening to her teacher explain fractions or giggling with a friend about an upcoming play date.

    Unfortunately Hannah lives in Utah where bilateral implants aren't covered by insurance, and her parents are small business owners who have paid tens of thousands in premiums which they - rightly, in my opinion - think should pay the approximately $45,000 tab. If Hannah lived in any other state, she'd, most likely, have already had both implants and be able to hear through both ears.

    SelectHealth, the insurance carrier for the Wankiers, is the largest health insurance company in the state, and has arbitrarily proclaimed that bilateral cochlear implants are "experimental" and, thus, have denied Hannah - and every other deaf child in Utah - this life-enhancing surgery.

    Rob and LeAnn have been trying to get the second implant for Hannah since they realized how effective the first implant was. They want Hannah to have skills their older six children share, and they want her to have the same chance for successful adulthood.

    However, Hannah's brain is growing and changing; its ability to adapt and utilize the cochlear technology is quickly diminishing as she ages. The window of opportunity is starting to close.

    When the insurance company denied coverage, they said, "We do intend in the coming months to do a thorough re-assessment of the exclusion of bilateral cochlear implants, and will utilize the extensive information that you provided as part of that review."

    Sure, this ponderous, huge company will "review" and "re-assess" for months and years, while Hannah grows up. Those decision makers have ignored the preponderance of research that proves bilateral cochlear implants are as medically necessary as hip replacements, artificial heart valves, and pace makers. Implants allow deaf people to hear and function a world of sound.

    That denial hurts vulnerable children, their families, friends and society in general.

    You can help by using your voice. Together, we can right this wrong. If you edit a company newsletter, work for a publication, have a blog or Web site, teach a class, or have any sort of audience, add your voice to mine. Additionally, you can flood SelectHealth with letters:

    SelectHealth

    4646 W. Lake Park Boulevard

    P. O. Box 30192

    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

    You can also send e-mails to their public relations department: Jason Burgess at Jason.burgess@selecthealth.org and Greg Reid at greg.reid@selecthealth.org. You can urge the Utah State Insurance Commission to mandate bilateral cochlear implants, and you can lobby the state legislature as the 2009 session gets under way.

    Recruit your friends and acquaintances to join this simple, important crusade, a crusade that will make a huge difference to Hannah and to every other child who cannot hear through both ears.
     
  2. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

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    She desperately needs another implant to become a fully functional adult.

    and deaf people without implants are not fully functional adults? What a load of BS! :roll:
     
  3. Nika

    Nika New Member

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    I think this is just a tad audist. Makes it sound like she'll die if she doesn't get another CI.
     
  4. Buffalo

    Buffalo Active Member

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    Yeah. The deaf people already have a solution... ASL but too many hearing people think otherwise.
     
  5. Daredevel7

    Daredevel7 Adrenaline Junky Premium Member

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    Haha, relax guys. When someone is asking for money/support, they exaggerate greatly in order to give that guilty feeling that if they don't get the money or do something, something bad happens!

    Would they be able to get a lot of support if they said "We'd like to do a 2nd cochlear implant. It may or may not help. Please do something."
     
  6. jillio

    jillio New Member

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    The second paragraph is completely and totally innccurrate.

    The rest of it is completely audist.

    I find it hard to "relax" after reading posts like this, as they perpetuate stereotypes of the deaf, no matter what their intent is. These parents, and their friends, would do much better to educate themselves about deafness. They would truly be doing a service for the child they adopted that way.
     
  7. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

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    I will never relax about something like this. As a teacher I deal with this negative view of deaf people and the devastating impacts on the children on a constant basis. Until hearing people adopt the holistic view of deaf children rather as seeing them not being able to function, I will never relax.

    If some people don't see the big deal is, think about how many hearing people read this article and are led to believe that deaf people aren't capable of anything without getting implants. To me, I take it personal cuz that means more hearing people will look down on me cuz I don't have implants when I have proved to be successful in achieving my goals in life.
     
  8. Nika

    Nika New Member

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    The fact that they're so desperate for a second CI and haven't considered all their options is already a tad audist. Let alone the actual format of the article. "...hearing impaired.... hearing impaired...."
     
  9. Nika

    Nika New Member

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    That is simply not true.
     
  10. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

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    Exactly! That term is audist and puts a negative label on deaf/hoh people.
     
  11. Hear Again

    Hear Again New Member

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    first of all, the child in this story isn't the only one to be denied a bilateral ci, so what makes her case so special?

    second, insisting that hannah needs a second ci in order to become a "fully functional adult" is insulting.

    third, as jillio pointed out, the information expressed in paragraph 2 is entirely false.

    thanks to this article, hearing people are going to walk away with even more inaccurate information and negative stereotypes about deafness and ci's.
     
  12. Nika

    Nika New Member

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    Another thing they failed to recognize is that the two brain hemispheres are connected. Their claim that she can only process auditory information with one side of her brain, would be applicable if she had the two hemispheres separated. But she doesn't. So claiming she can only process sound with one side of her brain makes no sense at all, and just sounds like an excuse to help poor Hannah to socialize.

    Her young brain already does that.
     
  13. Hear Again

    Hear Again New Member

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    i don't see the parents wanting their child to have a second ci as audist. if a child does not perform well with one ci, it is understandable why parents would want to have another. having said that, it would be nice if the parents could teach hannah asl so she has another form of communication she can use in addition to the auditory input she receives from her ci.
     
  14. faire_jour

    faire_jour New Member

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    It didn't say that Deaf people are useless without implants, it said that this girl will be able to function better with 2 implants. Which is true! If she is an oral language user she will hear much more normally (not normal) with two ears than with one.
    Who says the parents are uneducated about Deafness? Where does it say that the child doesn't use ASL? Just because they did something different than you did does NOT make it wrong. Geez
     
  15. Hear Again

    Hear Again New Member

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    the only exception to hannah's ability to process what she hears is the fact that she could have auditory neuropathy. some children with AN do not benefit from ci's while others do. it makes me wonder if she has been evaluated for AN to begin with.
     
  16. Hear Again

    Hear Again New Member

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    i have to agree with you there, faire_jour. just because hannah's parents want her to have a second ci does NOT make them audist.
     
  17. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

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    In order for the child to be a fully functional adult she needs another implant.....uuuhhh ok

    As a deaf person who has to fight against and live with prejudice, discrimination, and disrespect all of my life, this is a very audist view on deafness..
     
  18. Nika

    Nika New Member

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    I don't think that Hannah's parents are completely audist as much as the article is. The article frames as if it is a largely desperate situation and Hannah just won't be able to make it as a single CI person. I can understand having two CI's helps with locating sound and also lets you gather more auditory information, but she's not going to lack a
    with only unilateral CI instead of bilateral.
     
  19. jillio

    jillio New Member

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    Exactly. As does anyone whose corpus collusum is intact.

    And there is no evidence anywhere that a bilateral helps with socialization.
     
  20. jillio

    jillio New Member

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    Exactly. The implication is that she will never be fully functioning without a bilateral. How insulting! And I agree. It is an extremely audist statement.
     
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