Monday, July 12, 2004

Finished two books...

Over the weekend I finished both "Topper" and "Listening With My Heart." "Topper" I have previously discussed, and it finished with Topper sure to begin enjoying himself more, and his little wife was apparently going to join in the fun. The book is dated yet somehow the quaintness is fun.

"Listening With My Heart" is life story of Heather Whitestone, Miss America 1995. Of course she was in her twenties when she wrote the book, and she had not yet become a mother, nor had she gotten her cochlear implant. I was touched and inspired by her story. She certainly worked hard to get her voice, quite literally. I saw her on television within the last year, after her surgery for the implant, and she was still getting used to hearing so much at once. It was so sad to hear of the confusion and disorientation suffered in the years necessary to get used to the implant. She said the doctors say an adult might take 5 years getting used to differentiating sounds. Apparently the noise of the crowd is of equal import to the brain to the sound of a close voice - any background noise is "frontground" noise to the new cochlear implant recipient. So the brain is trained to differentiate, as a hearing person's brain does in our earliest years. I look forward to seeing her again and hearing about her progress. She is truly an inspiration, and a wonderful role model for deaf children. Whatever method of hearing-speech a person is trained with, the important thing is to be able to communicate with the largest number of people possible.

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