Teacher of deaf says cochlear implants are key to development - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Teacher of deaf says cochlear implants are key to development

COEUR d' ALENE, Idaho - Last week Shaun McLaughlin appeared in a Kootenai County courtroom facing claims of contempt when he failed to follow a court order requiring him to force his deaf daughter to wear cochlear implants in her ear.

8-year-old Emma has been deaf since birth. She was given cochlear implants so she could hear and help develop her verbal and social skills. Emma's father, Shaun McClaughlin, is also deaf. When in his care the two communicate through American sign language. In a custody hearing last summer he agreed that his daughter would wear the device when she is with him. Through and interpreter, Shaun told the judge in court last week that he wants to honor his daughter's feelings and he can't force her to wear it because he feels like it would be abuse.

Amy Hardie, a teacher of deaf at HOPE School, says half the kids she works with during the week have a cochlear implant. She says in order for children to properly develop oral language skills they have to wear their cochlear implants or hearing aids during all waking hours.

"Children have to hear it over and over and over again for that auditory memory to take place and that auditory nerve to stimulate the brain," said Amy Hardie.

Hardie says even if there is no verbal language being spoken, the brain is still being developed to hear other sounds in their environment.

"When they're not hearing it they're obviously not hearing any sound, they're not hearing the birds," said Hardie. "Any kind of age a child picks up so much incidental language around them of people talking, of people at the grocery store all over the place"

Even though Emma is able to hear when she only wears the one implant, Hardie says research shows that kids should have both to help locate sounds and strengthen auditory memory on both sides of the brain.

"We don't just really look with one eye we look with both eyes, we hear with both ears, so having bilateral implants is what we like to see most kids get," said Hardie.

The teachers at HOPE School tell me that for kids to be successful by kindergarten they should have already heard about 46 million words in their lifetime, so sometimes by the time a deaf child has a cochlear implant in place that child has a lot of catching up to do.

The following is the on-air script that aired on KHQ

[TAKE: ONCAM]

{**DAN**}

LAST WEEK A WASHINGTON MAN FIRST APPEARED IN A KOOTENAI COUNTY COURTROOM FACING CLAIMS OF CONTEMPT...

IT'S A STORY THAT HAS SPARKED CONTROVERSY WITHIN THE DEAF COMMUNITYKHQ NORTH IDAHO REPORTER MIKE PERRY WAS IN COURT FOR THAT HEARING LAST WEEK...HE JOINS US LIVE NOW WITH SOME PERSPECTIVE ON THE STORY..

{**TAKE MIKE LIVE**}

SHAUN MCLAUGHLIN'S TRIAL FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT IS LATER THIS WEEK--THE CLAIM AGAINST HIM IS HE FAILED TO FOLLOW A COURT ORDER REQUIRING HIM TO FORCE HIS DAUGHTER TO WEAR COCHLEAR IMPLANTS IN HER EAR--SOME QUESTION WHY A JUDGE WOULD MAKE SUCH A REQUIREMENT--TODAY I SPOKE WITH A TEACHER OF THE DEAF TO EXPLAIN THE IMPORTANCE OF USING THOSE IMPLANTS

{**COLD VO**}

THIS IS VIDEO WE SHOWED YOU LAST WEEK OF 8-YEAR-OLD EMMA REFUSING TO WEAR A COCHLEAR IMPLANT IN HER LEFT EAR--EMMA HAS BEEN DEAF SINCE BIRTH AND SHE WAS GIVEN COCHLEAR IMPLANTS SO SHE COULD HEAR AND HELP DEVELOP HER VERBAL AND SOCIAL SKILLS

EMMA'S FATHER SHAUN MCLAUGHLIN IS ALSO DEAF--WHEN IN HIS CARE THE TWO COMMUNICATE THROUGH AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE--IN A CUSTODY HEARING LAST SUMMER HE AGREED THAT HIS DAUGHTER WOULD WEAR THE DEVICE WHEN SHE IS WITH HIM--IT BECAME CLEAR THAT HE WASN'T FORCING HER AND EMMA'S MOTHER, JENNIFER MILLER FILED A CONTEMPT OF COURT CLAIM AGAINST HIM--THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, SHAUN TOLD THE JUDGE IN COURT THAT HE WANTS TO HONOR HIS DAUGHTER'S FEELINGS AND HE CAN'T FORCE HER TO WEAR IT BECAUSE HE FEELS LIKE IT WOULD BE ABUSE

[TAKE SOT]

<"When we aired this story last week we received lots of controversial feedback, including several comments on our KHQ Local News facebook page">

[TAKE VO]

MICA FERGUSON SCHOLTE WRITES--"While sign language is great and my own daughter gained much from it it is not the same as hearing if you have the ability to have it... it should not be withheld from you

MELISSA OCHOA REPLIED--"The father is deaf also so it's not like she's missing out on too terribly much, the father probably likes that, they both have that in common"

(NATS)

AT HOPE SCHOOL IN SPOKANE--CHILDREN BOTH DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING SPEND LOTS OF QUALITY TIME DEVELOPING THEIR ORAL LANGUAGE THROUGH A LANGUAGE RICH ENVIRONMENT--

[TAKE SOT]

{***SOT FULL***}

<"What's he doing">

[TAKE VO]

{***VO***}

AMY HARDIE HAS BEEN A TEACHER OF THE DEAF AT HOPE SCHOOL FOR THREE YEARS--HALF THE KIDS SHE WORKS DURING THE WEEK HAVE A COCHLEAR IMPLANT--SHE SAYS IN ORDER CHILDREN TO PROPERLY DEVELOP ORAL LANGUAGE SKILLS THEY HAVE TO WEAR THEIR COCHLEAR IMPLANTS OR HEARING AIDS DURING ALL WAKING HOURS

[TAKE SOT]

{***SOT FULL**}

<"Children have to hear it over and over and over again for that auditory memory to take place and that auditory nerve to stimulate the brain">

[TAKE VO]

AMY SAYS EVEN IF THERE IS NO VERBAL LANGUAGE BEING SPOKEN--THE BRAIN IS STILL BEING DEVELOPED TO HEAR OTHER SOUNDS IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT

[TAKE SOT]

<"When they're not hearing it they're obviously not hearing any sound, they're not hearing the birds. Any kind of age a child picks up so much incidental language around them of people talking, of people at the grocery store all over the place">

[TAKE VO]

EVEN THOUGH EMMA IS ABLE TO HEAR SHE ONLY WEARS THE ONE IMPLANT--HARDIE SAYS RESEARCH SHOWS THAT KIDS SHOULD HAVE BOTH TO HELP LOCATE SOUNDS AND STRENGTHEN AUDITORY MEMORY ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BRAIN

[TAKE SOT]

<"We don't just really look with one eye we look with both eyes, we hear with both ears, so having bilateral implants is what we like to see most kids get">

{*TAKE MIKE REM LIVE*}

THE TEACHERS AT HOPE SCHOOL TELL ME THAT FOR KIDS TO BE SUCCESSFUL BY KINDERGARTEN THEY SHOULD HAVE ALREADY HEARD ABOUT 46 MILLION WORDS IN THEIR LIFETIME--SO SOMETIMES BY THE TIME A DEAF CHILD HAS A COCHLEAR IMPLANT IN PLACE THAT CHILD HAS A LOT OF CATCHING UP TO DO--IN NORTH IDAHO MIKE PERRY KHQ LOCAL NEWS

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