"...all three manufacturers ... three little boys ... makes my heart smile. Such a fuss is often made about which company is better. But this photo proves it's all the same, really. I just love it."I took this during our trip to John Tracy Clinic this past summer. I love this shot because these boys created a great friendship while there and how completely awesome is it that everywhere you looked there were hearing aids and cochlear implants!?! There was no "different".
I woke up this morning and saw there was a discussion on CiCircle about brand choice. No, I'm not going to get into this long post about all three cochlear implant brands. I think when it comes to brand choice, YOU have to feel good, feel comfortable, and know in your heart you are making the right choice for your child, no matter which brand it is.
Melissa, (who is a phenomenal resource, well respected in the CI community, and mom to these two amazing girls both whom are bilaterally implanted), said it best,
"What's far more important than brand choice is what you do afterwards in terms of helping your son learn to make sense of the sound from his CI. That will determine your child's success, not brand choice. There are definitely differences in reliability, customer service, and all the factors that parents mention. However, they are minor differences, non of which will ultimately affect how well your son does, and where one has an edge another may have an edge in another factor. I remember our audiologist telling us that she had three one-year-old little boys all implanted at the same time, each with one of the three brands, and all were doing equally well. So if you're happy with your choice, then go with it and don't look back. Look forward instead."I'm not at all downplaying how stressful it can be to choose a brand, believe me, I've been there (and sometimes, for different medical purposes, one brand may be a better fit than the others). When it came to choosing the CI company we would go with for Aiden, we leaned towards Cochlear from the get go. Today, I can't even pinpoint the exact reasons why. We did all the extensive research on all three brands, made a spreadsheet comparing and contrasting each, and what it came down to, was following our heart and going with what we felt most comfortable with. No regrets.
Take a look around the Internet at different cochlear implant blogs - you will find success story after success story for each brand of CI (I have listed just a couple for each brand below). The common factor? Parents with extreme dedication to teach their deaf child to listen and speak.