Friday, November 19, 2010

BKB-SIN test

I promised I would give an update of my daughter's booth test when I got it. She was tested last summer, but there was a mix up in getting the report out, so it took a bit longer than expected to get the results, but here they are:

She took the BKB-SIN test, which tests signal to noise ratio compared to "normal" hearing. In this case, it compares how loud the background noise is for a hearing person to get 50% correct answers, and compares it to how loud the background noise needs to be for the person with the hearing loss to get 50% correct. Here is an explaination from a BKB-SIN users manual.
"If a normal-hearing subject requires a +2 dB SNR to obtain 50% correct on a speech-in-noise test, and a hearing-impaired subject requires a +8 dB SNR to obtain 50% correct on the same test, the SNR loss for the hearing impaired subject is 6 dB."

Her SNR for both ears tested together was 3.5 dB. If I understand this test, that means that she needs 3.5 dB higher signal to noise ratio than kids her age with "normal" hearing in order to get the same amount of understanding of the verbal information given.

That just amazes me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


One of my biggest frustrations when doing my research on ALL THINGS DEAF was the vast amount of myths I encountered. If the people and groups giving me information would have just limited themselves to telling me what they did well and why, it would have been fine. But they could not seem to stop themselves from also telling me what "the other side" did poorly. And therein lay the foundation of MYTHS. I have to tell you, those spouting the words "AG BAD" really irritated me. They didn't help their cause at all. Badmouthing differing options cast them in a very poor light. Those who tried to use the 4TH GRADE READING LEVEL to try and promote their agenda got me angry as well. I encountered those who told me that kids with CIs could not take baths because they would have WIRES STICKING OUT OF THEIR HEADS. I was also told that my child would never learn language unless (take your pick) WE LEFT OUT SIGN LANGUAGE AND WENT WITH AVT/WE WENT STRICTLY ASL WITH NO ORAL LANGUAGE.

Give me a break.

The myth I dislike the most is the one where people told me that we should wait to have our daughter implanted because she should have a say in it. We just needed to wait until she got older so she could decide for herself. Any parents who buy into this myth are deluding themselves. The younger the child is at the time of the implant, the easier it is for that child to learn to process the signals into meaningful sound. The older they are, the harder it is. If the parents wait until the child is old enough to decide, chances are good that the child will not be able to make very good progress turning those signals into meaningful sound. The simple act of waiting itself makes the decision. Whether they want to or not, the parent does decide. The only exception is if the child's hearing loss is not profound, and they have good use of hearing aids. In that case, they are not even eligible for implants so the point is moot.

I have encountered myths both from the ASL Deaf Community, and the oral deaf. All these myths produce is anger and disappointment in the families who are new to these issues, trying to raise their baby in this new-to-them world of hearing loss. They lose trust in the people giving them the information, and they are very likely to reject those they find they cannot trust. And that is probably the saddest outcome of all.

What myths did you encounter?