Family Marks One Year Since Toddler's Cochlear Implant

Posted on March 29th, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Little Clare Edwards celebrated a very special occasion on Saturday, but it wasn't a birthday or any of the typical childhood events. The 19-month old Erie girl and her family marked the one year anniversary of Clare's cochlear implant with a party at the Barber National Institute.

Clare's parents, Amy and Jon Edwards, wanted an opportunity to thank the many people who supported them through an often challenging journey with their daughter. Guests included family members, therapists from the Bright Beginning Early Intervention team at the Barber National Institute and staff from DePaul School and from Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Soon after Clare was born, she was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss and began the Bright Beginning Early Intervention program.

We first try to help parents get over the shock and help them learn to enjoy their time with their child, said Dr. Janet Trychin, the audiologist working with Clare's parents. By concentrating on always making eye contact, the bonding that is so important happens between the parents and child.

Clare's parents continued to work with the Bright Beginning team to help Clare use her other senses to learn about her world. When Clare was eight months old, she received a cochlear implant, a small electronic device that provides a sense of sound to someone who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing.

Clare's Bright Beginning audiologist and speech therapists continue to work with her to help her understand the sounds she now hears and foster continued development. Her parents say she is learning every day. She amazes me with all of the new things that she notices, said Jon. She has learned to listen all of the time.