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Healthy Humorist

Liner Notes, Karaoke & “The Little Mermaid”: How an 8-year-old deaf girl with cochlear implants became Part of the Singing World

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Liner Notes, Karaoke & “The Little Mermaid”: How an 8-year-old deaf girl with cochlear implants became Part of the Singing World

… She was deaf. 

And so began the panicked weeks of seeing every pediatric hearing specialist in town and learning our options.  We wanted her to be Part of our Hearing World, so we got her cochlear implants (CIs).  I can joke about it now, but back than it was all pretty scary.  Over the ensuing months, we learned about these astonishing devices and began Molly’s journey to hearing with the help of terrific audiologists and auditory verbal therapists.  And while Molly advanced through her Ling sounds and her annunciation, we knew music would likely remain a challenge.  Cochlear implants are made for speech.  Music—despite my assertion that it’s quite healthy for most people—is often noisy and bothersome for CI recipients.

Still, when she was about seven, Molly took an interest in pop music (especially Taylor Swift).  It didn’t seem too noisy for her, but she often had trouble with the lyrics.  Now, let’s face it, pop and rock lyrics are often tough to decipher even for people with excellent hearing.  (Did the Beatles really sing, “The girl with colitis goes by …”?  Was John Fogerty alluding to a prostate problem when he seemed to croon, “There’s a bathroom on the right”?)  But the task was especially tough for …

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