World Down Syndrome Day and hearing loss: Celebrating children like Chloe

The following is a re-post of a guest blog from 2014 about Chloe, who was born with Down syndrome and lived with hearing loss until she was implanted with the Baha System at 10 years old in 2010. Chloe was 14 when her mother Jane wrote this guest blog to share with us the affect Chloe’s Baha implant had on her life. Join us in marking World Down Syndrome Day today (21 March) and celebrating children like Chloe.


It’s been a while since you last heard about Chloe. She is now 14, in year nine at senior school and even more of a little madam than when we last met four years ago.

Unfortunately Chloe’s health hasn’t been very good the past two years. She has had some major operations which have left her bed bound for weeks, and in and out of hospitals. Chloe has shown incredible strength and determination, both because that’s the type of girl she is and because she was able to communicate effectively with hospital staff and myself.

This is all thanks to her Baha sound processor. Chloe’s language skills and attention skills have flourished over the last four years; her vocabulary has grown, she is learning new words each day and she is definitely more attentive to those talking to her (apart from when she chooses not to!). This meant the hospital staff was able talk her through what was going to happen and she could indicate her pain levels and talk to the doctors.

I dread to think how she would have coped six or seven years ago, when her hearing levels were so low, and she hardly had any language. The world would have been a very lonely and scary place for her.

Chloe still loves drama and attends a very good secondary school that specialises in drama so she can devote more time to her passion. She is still my drama queen and a budding actress, dancer and musician. Obviously she is becoming a young lady and her life is changing. Developing language and communication skills has played a big part in this and will continue to do so.

My one aim for my daughter has been to become as independent as her disability would allow her. The Baha [System] has contributed to the success of this aim. She can order her food in restaurants. She can shop at the supermarket. She is also very good at being a typical teenage and slamming doors on me!

So am I pleased with the Baha [System]? Yes, my only regret is that I didn’t push for it sooner. I would recommend it for any parent or young person who needs it. Read the literature, speak to the professionals and if you feel it right go for it! It opens many doors and not once have we looked back.”

Jane lives in Birmingham, UK. In 2013 she won the Birmingham Parent of the Year Award for her tireless work with a special needs support group, as well as caring for her own two children who both have special needs.


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Down Syndrome and hearing loss

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month in the US.  This month is all about celebrating people with Down syndrome and making others aware of their abilities and accomplishments.  It’s not about celebrating disabilities, it’s about celebrating abilities.

Many children born with Down Syndrome also have hearing loss. But did you know that they can benefit from a Baha System?

Since Down Syndrome children’s ear canals are typically very narrow, in-the-ear hearing aids can be difficult to wear. Since the Baha solution doesn’t block the ear canal, discharges in the ears are also able to dry properly which reduces the risk of getting ear infections. There’s also no need for an ear mould which can get lost, or cause irritation and soreness to small ears.

Download the Down Syndrome & Hearing Loss folder

Chloe, Baha user, UK

Chloe, Baha user, UK

Read also: Guest blog: How a Baha solution transformed my daughter’s life

Comparing the Baha 5 Sound Processor to the BP110 Power

baha5-sound-processor-compared-to-baha-power

Question: Hi, I’m the  mother of a 48 year old with Down Syndrome with moderate to severe hearing loss. Processor is set to the highest setting. I have two questions:

  1. Does the Baha 5 increase VOLUME compared to the BP110 Power?
  2. Does the Baha 5 increase CLARITY compared to the BP110 Power?

//Thank you, Sarah Busk

Answer: Hi Sarah, thanks for your questions. In short:

  1. The Baha 5 Sound Processor was designed to replace the Baha 4 Sound Processor in terms of power output. Thus it was not designed to be as powerful as the BP110 Power.
  2. The Baha 5 Sound Processor features a more advanced signal processing platform (named Ardium Smart) and is therefore designed to provide better sound clarity. Also, it wirelessly streams audio from sources like the MiniMic, TV Streamer and iPhone which further increases sound clarity in challenging situations.The Baha 5 Sound Processor may not be sufficiently powerful for your son/daughter. To find out more, we recommend that you contact your hearing care professional to determine if this solution can help and possibly trial the Baha 5 Sound Processor in a listening demo.

~ Fredrik Breitholtz, Head of Training and Clinical Communication, Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions

 

World Down Syndrome Day

2015 socks logo

This year marks the 10th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day.

March 21st is a day where the Down Syndrome community all over the world comes together to celebrate the people that have a 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome.

This will be celebrated on Friday, March 20th with a conference in United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA.

For this anniversary and the 21st anniversary year of the ‘International Year of the Family’, the conference will focus on the role of families and the positive contribution that they can make towards the enjoyment of full and equal rights for people with Down Syndrome.

Read more about the event and the Lots of Socks campaign here.

Children with Down Syndrome and hearing loss can usually benefit from a Baha System. Since their ear canals are typically very narrow,  in-the-ear hearing aids can be difficult for them to wear. Since the Baha solution doesn’t obstruct the ear canal, discharges in the ears are also able to dry properly which reduces the risk of getting ear infections. There’s also no need for an ear mould which can get lost, or cause irritation and soreness to small ears.

Read also: Guest blog: How a Baha solution transformed my daughter’s life

Guest blog: How a Baha solution transformed my daughter’s life

In 2010 we had the pleasure of meeting with Chloe, a lovely 10-year old girl who had just been implanted with a Baha solution. Chloe was born with Down Syndrome and suffered from hearing loss. In this month’s guest blog, her mother Jane shares what’s happened since we last met, and the impact the Baha System has had on her daughter’s life.

“It’s been a while since you last heard about Chloe. She is now 14, in year nine at senior school and even more of a little madam than when we last met four years ago.

Unfortunately Chloe’s health hasn’t been very good the past two years. She has had some major operations which have left her bed bound for weeks, and in and out of hospitals. Chloe has shown incredible strength and determination, both because that’s the type of girl she is and because she was able to communicate effectively with hospital staff and myself.

This is all thanks to her Baha sound processor. Chloe’s language skills and attention skills have flourished over the last four years; her vocabulary has grown, she is learning new words each day and she is definitely more attentive to those talking to her (apart from when she chooses not to!). This meant the hospital staff was able talk her through what was going to happen and she could indicate her pain levels and talk to the doctors.

I dread to think how she would have coped six or seven years ago, when her hearing levels were so low, and she hardly had any language. The world would have been a very lonely and scary place for her.

Chloe still loves drama and attends a very good secondary school that specialises in drama so she can devote more time to her passion. She is still my drama queen and a budding actress, dancer and musician. Obviously she is becoming a young lady and her life is changing. Developing language and communication skills has played a big part in this and will continue to do so.

My one aim for my daughter has been to become as independent as her disability would allow her. The Baha has contributed to the success of this aim. She can order her food in restaurants. She can shop at the supermarket. She is also very good at being a typical teenage and slamming doors on me!

So am I pleased with the Baha? Yes, my only regret is that I didn’t push for it sooner. I would recommend it for any parent or young person who needs it. Read the literature, speak to the professionals and if you feel it right go for it! It opens many doors and not once have we looked back.”

Jane lives in Birmingham, UK. In 2013 she won the Birmingham Parent of the Year Award for her tireless work with a special needs support group, as well as caring for her own two children who both have special needs.

 

How Chloe, with Down Syndrome and hearing loss, has benefitted from a Baha solution

Chloe, Baha user, UK

Chloe, Baha user, UK

Did you know that children with Down Syndrome and hearing loss can benefit from a Baha solution?

Chloe’s mother admits she’s always been a bit of a “drama queen” – but it wasn’t until she got her Baha bone conduction hearing system as a 10-year old, that Chloe was able to pursue her love of acting.

Chloe was born with Down Syndrome, and suffered from chronic ear infections throughout her childhood, which eventually led to hearing problems. When she was three, Chloe’s hearing loss got so bad it affected her speech, language acquisition and her ability to interact socially. She tried in-the-ear hearing aids for a while, but she found it increasingly difficult to manage because her ear canals are much narrower than normal – typical in  children with Down Syndrome.

Over the years Chloe has had five lots of grommets – tubes inserted into the ear to improve airflow, relieve pressure and help clear excess fluid. At the fifth fitting, her consultant realised the canals in Chloe’s ears had collapsed so badly, it would be impossible to fit further grommets.

The consultant then advised Chloe’s mother, Jane, that a bone conduction hearing system could be an option for her daughter.

A Baha solution doesn’t obstruct the ear canal, so discharges in the ears are able to dry properly, which reduces the risk of getting ear infections. There’s also no need for an ear mould which can get lost, or cause irritation and soreness to small ears.

“I have to admit that I didn’t really have very high hopes for Chloe’s hearing,” says Jane, “so I was totally amazed after switch-on when she asked me to turn the music down in the car on the way home. I then had to turn the TV down at home too. Our lives are no longer based on shouting instructions and lip reading. I can call Chloe from another room now and she’ll hear me and we can have real conversations which is so lovely.”

Chloe’s schoolwork is also improving and she finds it easier to socialise with groups of friends. Her speech therapist has noticed a big difference in her speech. Chloe now goes to a Downs drama group every week and – she’s even starred in the school play!

“I can’t begin to explain what a difference Chloe’s Baha has made to her life and to all our lives really,” adds Jane. “I just wish she’d been given one earlier. Both her confidence and sense of fun have really increased. I just want her to be happy in life and do what she enjoys. Who knows, maybe she’ll be able to fulfill her dream one day of being on a big stage?”

You can read more about Chloe’s amazing hearing journey here.

Do you have a child with Down Syndrome and hearing loss? If so, a Baha system could be something to consider.

Download the Down Syndrome & Hearing Loss folder