November 16, 2010

Student Helped Change Her Hearing Aid Tube

When I came by to pick up my student, the interpreter told me that she was not wearing her hearing aid because my student claimed that her hearing aid hurts her ear. "She said something about how the tube is rubbing against her ear hurting it," she told me.

When my student saw me, she immediately grabbed her hearing aid, which she kept in a hearing aid box, and then she got a new tube. With a serious look, she said, "Let's change the tube. I'll help."

Wow! I was impressed.

Sure enough the tube shrunk and was stiff. It is really painful when this happens. It feels as if the top part of your ear is being pinched really hard.

Together, with her help, we changed the tube. She practically knows how to do it herself now. I am so proud of her!

I explained later to the interpreter and the teacher about the importance of replacing the tube with a new tube. I talked about how when it shrinks, it hurts. But, the interpreter was confused because my student had just changed her tube a few weeks ago. I explained that whoever did it, made it too short and over even such a brief period of time, it hardened and shrunk. The interpreter seemed to understand now. She and the teacher learned something new today.



  1. Is it right for an interpreter or even a teacher to fuss a kid about not wearing her hearing aids? Should disciplining involving the body be up to the parents?

  2. I don't see this as a disciplining issue at all.

    She probably knew you knew how to change tubes and that with your help, it'll get done. You really have a very interesting job.



  3. That's a great self advocacy story. I didn't even know kids had access to extra tubes like that.

  4. It's troubling that some people insist on wearing aids even when children complain about them. When properly fitted, children should not be aware of them except for hearing better.

    To insist anyway tells the child that to hear is worth the pain or discomfort and that something is wrong with the child, not the aid, if the child protests. Such people need a sensitivity tune-up.

    It takes a lot of patience and maintenance to live with hearing aids or implants but if the payoff is great enough, they don't end up in drawers. Sometimes the right support makes the difference.

  5. I'm glad you were there to help. You know I can't help wondering where this child's parent's were and why they didn't get her into the audiologist to have her tubes changed?

    This same kind of thing happens to the elderly. They put their aids in a drawer because they hurt. No one takes them seriously or tries to get to the bottom of it. They just assume the old person is being grouchy. Sad.

  6. Candy,

    I do have a very interesting job! I love it.


  7. What I learned from this is that I need to work more with some of the teachers and interpreters who work with my students, teaching them more about things like this.

  8. Not to mention, if some elderly do not want to accept they have a hearing loss, you can't force them to accept it.

    And some just don't want to wear it. Nothing wrong with that either as long they they are able to communicate somehow.


Keep it civil.