Friday, January 13, 2012

CI Brand Choice

A few weeks ago, a fellow CI momma blogger, who is pure amazingness, made this comment on FB about the picture below:
"...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.

Advanced Bionics


Julia said...

What a great picture! Totally agree. We each love our brand and it's difficult not to get defensive when others claim a different brand is superior, which is why those cicircle discussions sometimes get a little rough. But Melissa hit the nail on the head ( as she so often does).

MKChaikof said...

I love the photo! It says so beautifully what words cannot do as well. I get so frustrated with the brand wars. I would think that parents who write into the CI Circle looking for advice could really get freaked out even more by some of the posts. I think I'm glad we didn't have a choice with either Rachel or Jessica. It was much easier that way.

Janet said...

Thanks for this info...we are at the "choice" stage for my granddaughter, and it's good to know it's not a "life or death" decision.

Emily said...

First of all, LOVE that picture. It is so sweet and cute - the hand-holding is adorable. Second, well said! Many moms have asked me about our choice and advice on who to choose and I never really know what to say. You're so right - the technology is amazing, but it takes hard work and dedication to ensure our children succeed. Beautifully written, as always. :)

Lynnsey said...

Thank you so much for posting this! It's something that's been on my mind a lot lately. I wish we could just support each other instead of arguing over which company is better. Everyone is so loyal to the brand they chose and I really don't think you can go wrong.

Danielle said...

great picture!

Hunter's Mommy said...

That picture is amazing, well said as priceless. And man we love Melissa as well. Just glad we don't have a choice as to which brand to go with either :)

signingworks said...

Hello, my name is Emily Paige, I work with Signing Works. I am looking to interview deaf/CI parents via email. My email is I came across your cute blog and hope you can help!
Thank You!
Emily Paige