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July 12, 2002 -- No. 387

 

Annual picnic brings together families of children with cochlear implants

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday (July 13)

Wilson Park, Carrboro

The Carolina Children’s Communicative Disorders Program, a component of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine’s department of otolaryngology / head and neck surgery, will hold its annual Cochlear Implant Picnic on Saturday (July 13).

Members of the local legislative delegation are among those who have been invited to attend this year’s event. The picnic provides an opportunity for the families of children with cochlear implants to interact with doctors and staff and become acquainted with one another.

David Perry, social research assistant with the program and the picnic’s coordinator, said the UNC-affiliated program is currently following nearly 400 children in North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina, who have cochlear implants.

"The picnic provides families with the opportunity to share experiences, and for each child to be reminded that he or she is not the only one who has a cochlear implant. They see that they’re not alone," Perry added.

The cochlear implant is a device that allows people who have profound hearing loss to hear. It does this by processing sound electronically and by stimulating nerve fibers in the inner ear. This technology has advanced dramatically in the last decade. Children who are born deaf, or who become deaf before developing language, must learn to process and interpret the input from a cochlear implant. This requires work with teachers and other professionals trained in "auditory-based" techniques for developing spoken language, as well as considerable commitment from family members.

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CCCDP contact: David Butler Perry, (919) 419-1449

UNC News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415