MP3..IPOD..a new era of hearing loss?

I came across this article about this.  I was worried about the younger generation using those devices and I know I often fought with my daughter not to have it too loud! either way, using her headphones or speakers. It seems that the louder the better..why?  For me as a hearing loss person, I find it is hard to understand the words when its too "loud" so how do they do that?   I have been pretty good in making sure my daughter's ears are protected for years.  Toys that are taped over to muffled the loudness, headphone with volume controls, and more likely, keep it to the comfort level or turn it off.  Events that we go, I always make sure that we have an ear muff or ear plugs for my daughter when she was young.   and NOW she is following her peers..thus LOUD is better.  Here's an article for more awareness...

MP3-Induced Hearing Loss is a Growing Problem in the United States

Written by: John O’Connor

I am very passionate about hearing loss because my father and grandfathers are affected by it.  I feel that there is a general lack of understanding around the issue and it is our job to try and spread awareness.  You can find me at bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com, Enjoy!

Noise-induced and MP3-induced hearing loss is becoming more of a problem in adolescents. Because of the epidemic, healthcare professionals are looking for ways to prevent hearing loss due to external factors. Many studies have been dedicated to MP3-induced hearing loss. The Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics has studied this type of hearing loss extensively to devise a strategy to do something about this epidemic.

About the MP3-Induced Hearing Loss Study

Experts have found that exposure to high sound levels from portable MP3 levels can increase the risk for distortion in hearing, hyperacusis, tinnitus or threshold shifts. Hearing loss affects all types of people. Even college graduates are affected by hearing loss due to MP3 levels. According to the Hearing Alliance of America, 15 percent of college graduates have a hearing loss problem that is equal to or greater than the hearing levels of their parents. High volume music is the cause of most of their problem.

Experts are in the process of devising effective prevention strategies to help people have safe listening experiences and protect their hearing health. Even though a strategy has not been devised, experts fully expect the education portion will include healthy listening levels and rules that protect adolescents from harmful exposure. Many experts and audiologists suggest the use of a hearing aid if hearing loss is severe in order to regain some functionality.

The problem with imposing regulations is that many adolescents will not adhere to the rules and regulations. Healthcare professionals cannot prevent hearing loss without help. Parents and other authority figures must get involved to stop MP3-induced hearing loss.

Who is At-Risk and What Can Be Done About It?

Though adolescents have the highest level of MP3-induced hearing loss, they are not the only people at-risk. Anyone who listens to MP3s loudly will be at risk for hearing loss. “Too loud” is defined as any sounds over 85 decibels. Meters can be used to measure sound levels and determine if the noise levels are too loud.

Sounds can be measured on a scale from zero to 140. Normal conversation is 60 dBA. Music at 80 decibels can be listened to for 40 hours per week without causing damage. Music at 89 decibels can only be listened to for five hours per week.

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a serious condition. There are 22 million American adults between the ages of 20 and 69 that have permanent hearing loss from noises over 80 dBA. Musicians and adults must be careful to monitor their listening levels to avoid premature hearing loss.

Adolescents must keep their volumes of their headphones at an appropriate level to avoid permanent hearing loss. Noise-limiting headphones are a wise investment. In addition, their diets must be fortified with vitamin A, B, C, D, E and manganese to build a healthy immune system that can fight hearing loss. These vitamins will help to fight free radicals in the body that may be responsible for hearing loss.

Turn The Music Down and Protect Your Health

Turn the music down and protect your hearing health. Kids can lose their hearing by listening to loud music. Ensure all music levels are 80 dBA or below and remain safe.



This week and past week has been very interesting..Cory has been using his voice a lot more and has willing to go to preschool.  Sean watched him from a distance, Cory has been playing and socializing with other kids.  I know why...  Before Christmas holidays, he has been refusing to go to preschool and has been a miserable little ...it could be several factors like, "Christmas" , feeling overwhelming (time for a break), he wasn't happy about doing the Christmas Concert so that's where it kinda of all start.   and you know we lost the one to one worker for him this year.  They just decided to not continue with it for this school term.  (read my previous blog) and then he was down swirling from there and it was becoming a behaviour issues with him at school.   Not listening, uncooperative, yelling, hitting, grabbing, not sharing etc.  everything I can think of.   I'm sitting there and has been thinking for the past month.  Is it time to pull him out?   Maybe he is trying to tell me something..he told me that he doesn't like it there anymore.   and the last straw was that Christmas party there, he was crying and whining the whole time.  I thought ok that is it.  I was so ready to pull him out and start at BCF from there on.  He loves it there.   I think he feels safe and some sort of security there and the supports he can get from there.  So over the holidays, I have made several phone calls trying to find a different preschool for him. More of a Specialized preschool that ratio is smaller and teachers that have Special Needs licensing and there has to be more support for him with his needs.  nothing..no luck.   I have never been so frustrated in my life trying to find this placement for Cory.  I hope other parents will NOT have that problem.  I had to keep fighting for him    So here we are back to school, again, we try to get back to routine as it was and Cory has been ok so far.  PLUS, he has been using his voice so much that the teachers are noticing a big difference and a lot of interactions.  I'm like duh...think about it.   why this has happens? I SPENT hours of time with him over the holidays and we did a lot of interactions. (it's almost like one to one stimulation) so you can see why he needs that???? so we did a lot of stuff at home, I have been acting like his one to one , telling him this and that, play games, we did role playing, we did a lot of language interactions (and CA too) Sean has been working on his speech as well, more than he did before.  and look how much Cory has picked up on that for past two weeks over the holidays.   That's why he needs a one to one so he can get the stimulation he needs!! I was hoping that he would get that NOW so hopefully then he won't need it when he goes to school full time next year.  


Kindergarten or not? to hold back or not that is the question..

I am a preschool (ECE teacher) for almost 20 years, and my experiences tell me that it is difficult to make a decision as a parent what we want the best for our child.  Cory is at this level where we realized that he is not ready for "mainstream" approach at our local school.  He is approaching age-appropriate all area of developments except for speech.  We don't want just put him in Kindergarten at Carrie-Anne's school and then do "wait and see"...I am afraid that might be setting him up for fail.  I did thought about him going for another year of preschool but I know too well how school's protocol works.
Ideally, anyone who withheld their child from going to Kindergarten, (for another year of preschool,) the school district will AUTOMATICALLY put them straight to grade one without a question! then you're stuck with negotiations, and trying to push for going to K instead etc will be a long battle.  Its just that they are pretty firm with age - year following levels.  From my experience, it's BETTER for Cory (or any other kids) to go ahead to Kindergarten whether they are not "ready" or not.  The school can START their own evaluations or assessments during that time, and if there is any concerns they can work on it during that time.  Rather than delay when the child is in grade one..you would have to wait another year...which its not good in my experience to delay any further.  The early intervention, the better, so therefore don't want delay Cory's needs by holding him back.  The school has a different procedures, policies, its a whole new ballpark and they prefer to do their own thing.  When it's a better time to do it? Kindergarten or grade one..it's not hard to figure that out.   If then, Cory needs to repeat Kindergarten, fine by with me.  Its better that way.   I know I want him to attend another year of preschool, because it's feeling safe and not wanting to let go in that scary new world out there and I want him to catch up.
But I do have to let him go and let the nature take course with the school district. the sooner the better.  They can work with him and if needed, they will help and get the resources we need.  It's better now, not wait until grade 1.  I am also afraid if I held him back, then in following year, they will put him straight to grade 1, not Kindergarten!  That happened to many kids, I heard.  Some districts are strict with that.  Don't want to take that chance.  
Look like we need to find a resource type of school for him so he can get the resources he needs to work on, rather than our local area school.   In few years, maybe he will be ready to attend Carrie-Anne's school some day.   It is our jobs to help and work with Cory for few more years.


Deaf kid vs Christmas concert? do they really work?

You and I both know that any young deaf kids and music concert doesn't go together!  I noticed that Cory is practicing..ah..(really?) singing the Christmas music at his preschool.  NOT really.  He was actually goofing off and yelling "non words" and so on.  No one is helping him or given him any guidelines..
That is sad. Really...what are they thinking??? I don't get it.  Why didn't they ask me about it?  Why didn't they ask about signing few words for that?   It makes me little mad in sense that they are not really thinking it through.  What about Cory?  mmmm?  I have to decide whether to let him participate or not.  Really..I'm leaning toward not.  its NOT worth it.  He is only 2 years old into "hearing" world, so would you do a music concert with bunch of 2 years old???  I didn't think so.  The expectations is too high for him right now.    I did thought of asking them for some songs that Cory and I can practice together but we don't know the "tune" so how do we practice without others? 
One thing, though, I am not letting him do this so he wouldnt be able to do this.  It's bit embarrassing, I am not sure if he would feel ashamed or feel bad about it.   Again, this is from my own personal experiences, I did some music concerts with my hearing friends at elementary school.  I tell you, I HATE it and it was awful for me.  It took a lot of strong wills not to burst in tears during the concert.  I know that eventually, Cory will be able to singing in those such things but not right now.
Rather than give it up.  I will ask the teacher for song sheets and try to go through with it by using signing supports and key words.  Cory still can practice with his friends but ultimately, he will decide whether he want to join the concert. I will let him decide that.



Non stop chatting about Halloween for the last 2 weeks..I'm so sick of it and I had to put decorations away TODAY! Cory keeps thinking it's gonna last...NOT!
SO we had a lot of fun..I think it is really neat having a deaf kid when having to share so much information and using sign languages as part of expressions.  We had barrel of laughs..Cory isn't afraid of Halloween as much he did in the last 2 years.  So talking about it more and having fun with it, really helps!  I think I didn't do enough last year because I was too "careful" not to scare him and only try to focus few things at a time. But this year, I just went all the way!  We watched "The Monster House" movie.." and he loves it!  We held off not taking him to haunted house or Stanley Park Train Ride, how much is too much? eh?  Well, one night, I was taking 8 girls to the Potter's House of Horrors and Cory was extremely upset that he is not going.  I had to tell him that it's too scary for him and so on.  He wouldn't accept it.  He practicially GLUED on me when I tried to leave.  Bawling his eyes.."Mommmy..I wanna go! I like scary!! " lol.  Really??? it was hard to say.   We did thought of going to the Bear Creek one in next few days if we have time!   It wasn't part of the plan for the weekend but after that with Cory..we thought we should. But we never had a chance to.  :((  too busy!   He seems to forgotten about it..
but for sure, we'll go next year!  Can't wait!
I did played a prank using a big knife, fake blood, bloody kitchen floor and my hand...
Didn't work on CA..she was like "seriously, mom?  really! JEEZ!"  and as for Cory, his eyes grew bigger and his jaw dropped, then he said "are you ok, mom?"  like he feels bad for me.  oh brother! I caved in.
Photos of Happy Halloween!
We did ran into bit of Cory's stubbornness!  HE didn't want to wear his CIs while trick or treating..I thought of safety issues, that he should , because it is bit of overwhelming event.  Should hear cars, people running up to him so he is not "surprised" or hear Halloween things etc..so he is knowing what is going on and get used to different sounds etc.  (we did played Halloween scary sounds on my CD player at home ..) we would guess what it was..he loves it!!!  So he said he doesn't want to.  Didn't say why or what..I told him that he can't go trick or treating without his CI.  He didn't have to wear both.  and He flat out refused.  I think this is the first time I had to stand firm which it kinda of go against my beliefs...by forcing him to wear it for safety reasons.   I did thought maybe he didn't want to wear it because it scared him etc. but that is not the case.  so just no reasons.  He was just being stubborn or couldn't tell me why.   Most of the times, he would tell me why..but this is one of those thing.  so finally, he did wear it and no troubles at all.  I guess I will never know...



Future Star

Cory has been playing Future stars soccer league for past month.  It was hard at first because it is bit distracting and out on field, so much going around.  He didn't really follow directions etc..so of course, I had to step in as "mommy's role" the "interpreter!!! so it began..I had to help him to interpreter what the coach say and what are the tasks he has to do etc.  Coach asked questions about certain things..and I know it's a bit of far reach for Cory to understand but I would tell him anyway.  He is really watching me and try to follow through.  Thank god for sign language because it is all "gestures" with soccer tasks and I can't imagine using verbal through that instructional time!  I didn't do it at first time, we went because Sean was on the field with him while I was on the bench.  and Cory was all over the place and not doing any instructional tasks.  So we talked about it when we got home and I think Sean was bit disappointed because it was gonna be "daddy and me" soccer stuff for him to bond with Cory.  But Sean doesn't have enough sign language skills to tell him or what to do in terms of soccer "instructional" tasks.   So now I have to step in and try to work with Cory.  It made a huge difference!   And of course, I had to be a "bigger" advocacy for Cory to help with coach how to use more hand signals and gestures for certain times so Cory can pick up cues and start practicing with the team.   It is great to have people who are willing to do that.  I know there has been a time or two that I had not so GREAT people in my life who refused to change or help me out because of my hearing loss.  but that is life!
Will have to post pictures soon with his soccer team..


"Deaf" Identity

By posting this blog, I know I'm gonna be opening a can of worms..but this is my son's rights.   

wow..I already suspected it before but from what Cory tells me, confirmed it.   We have been so busy in past month getting into the routines with school and all.   He starts at The Biggest Little Preschool three times a week (MWF).  He keeps asking about "other" school and I just tell him, have to wait.  And recently, he said to me "I want my deaf friends".  He doesn't care where he go, he just missed his "deaf" friends like him.   wow.  At this early age, he is able to know the difference and have his own identity.  I already knew that last Spring but actually hear him saying that now.  I was at recently gathering with some of the moms who have children with CI, and they were very interested in deaf community but they all had a bad "experience" with a deaf person or at an event or experience individually.   They were "shunned" for having a CI kid...from the deaf community so that's what they feel.  It's more common than I thought..

With recent events, and gatherings that we went to..it was pretty dishearting to hear and see that.  Even that my son saw their "reactions" when they noticed his CI.  Poor little guy, here he is thinking..what's wrong with me?   IF you pull that aside for a minute, you will see what a sweet little boy he is, and very animated with sign language and facial expressions, lots of gestures and his love for "language"..then you would think twice about his CI.

Ever since..now I'm sitting there and thinking.."what IS wrong with you??!!!!" toward the deaf community..if you continue this "attitude" and "behaviours" toward families with CI..YOUR deaf community will get SMALLER and SMALLER.  I don't know why they don't GET it..a lot of families that I work with, they tell me that they are interested in learning about sign language and deaf community, they do get the glimpse of having a "deaf child's identity". So therefore, believe it or not they DO went out to explore it but get nothing but bad results in an instant.

Yes, a lot of families with young children already have CI at very early age, there is NOTHING we can do but be supportive and educate them the importance of providing LANGUAGE and give them a chance to learn all aspects of communication DURING their early years.  I have worked with many families in early years and they DID and have show interests in sign language regardless if their child have CI or not, all I had to do is to show a path in finding a positive enriched experience to help and learn more about sign language and deaf community.
BUT, of course, we do have to support their choices at the end, whether they do or do not choose sign language but at least give them credits for trying and exploring all aspects of communication.  can't do it if their attitude don't "change" or if they keep shutting out families like that..just because of CI?  are you serious? are you kidding me????!!!    I will continue to fight this, when I SHOULDn't have to fight this.   MY SON have CI and he is DEAF, whether you like it or not.   BRING it on, I say.