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My Daughter (12) wont wear her Cochlear Implant

Posted by ellasmom
18/03/21 11:39 AM


I am new to this community even though my daughter has been deaf for 10 years.

I am having major problems with getting her to wear her hearing aid and cochlear implant at school. She says she can hear fine but with her lipreading all day she is very tired and angry when she gets home which is causing problems at home.

She is adamant she doesnt need it and has said she doesnt want to be different to the other children in her school (she is at a mainstream secondary school) 

I have spoken to her a number of times about this but she just gets upset and angry so i feel i dont know what else to do. I dont want her missing important information at school and her learning decreasing.

If anyone has any tips or help i would really appreciate it as i feel lost and a failure to her - its getting me depressed now.

Thanks :)

Posted by cc ndcs volunteer host
30/03/21 12:57 PM

Hello ellasmom

I could feel your worry that your daughter may miss out on her education. 

During early adolescence, my two sons (moderately and mildly hearing-impaired, both use two hearing aids) also did not like to be seen wearing hearing aids.  They took their hearing aids off when not in class.

Actions taken:

  • Explained the benefits of using hearing aids for them including outside the class.  However, they do need to take the hearing aids off from time to time to recover from the tiredness in using them.
  • Explained and taught them to explain to others that he needed the hearing aids to help him hear better just like people wear spectacles to see better.
  • Informed schools and activities organisers of my children’s hearing needs in advance.  As they grew older, I encouraged them to speak up for themselves when they could not hear so reasonable adjustment could be arranged, e g sitting near the speaker so they could hear better and also helped with speechreading.  I keep reminding them to look out for and feel comfortable in asking for and receiving hearing support.
  • Supported and encouraged them to meet people and participate in events with both hearing and non-hearing children.  They participated in a variety of activities to make friends as well as to develop independence and confidence.
  • In the course of their lives, they have encountered other young people with different kinds of disabilities or issues.  This helped them to accept their own hearing disabilities.

My children are now university students.  They are aware when they should put on their hearing aids now.

I hope my experience could help you feel a bit better and more relax during this difficult time.  With your patience and love, tomorrow will be a better day for both your daughter and you. 

Kind regards

Posted by kat
30/03/21 01:10 PM

Hi there,

sorry you're having problems with your daughter. My daughter has always been severely deaf so in some ways it made it easier as she HAD to wear her hearing aids all day or she couldn't hear a thing. She was fine wearing them and no one ever teased her. She had bilateral implants at the end of first year college and since then has been much more conscious of how they look and her confidence has been knocked. She made sure she always covered the magnets with a pony tail and tried to cover the processors as they are larger than her former hearing aids. All he friends were completely fine but she didn't want to tell people about her operation etc. 
she had some counselling at college to be able to tak through her feelings and she knows she has no choice as she can't lip read a whole lesson. We have batrles to get her t wear her radio aid as she doesn't want to "stick out" but we have reinforced the necessity to help with her education. She's now 1st year uni and is much more accepting but it did take a year after her implants. 
Hope you can find a solution, it's harder if she says she can cope without them- at least my daughter knew she couldn't. 
Is she too old for a bribe... and once everyone at school has seen them than it'll be old news and hopefully she'll know that!

good luck,


Posted by learningtofly
30/03/21 01:24 PM


I am a parent of a 14yr old bilaterally implanted boy, who has become very self and deaf aware. I know that he has always known he is deaf but it's becoming more of an hormonal, image and 'not-so-nice' peer realisation too. He has asked the heartbreaking question of 'why am the only deaf person in the family?' And I am sure with social media and the whole looking like a filter doesn't help. i tackled it by saying it is his choice not to wear them but he will stand out more as he will miss conversations that will happen, jokes shared and learning (although that's not a big deal! 😂 according to him!). This will make her more isolated as like my son they don't attend a specialist deaf school. It's super important to keep your attitude positive even though its super hard! 

Posted by eg
30/03/21 08:14 PM

 I agree with learning to fly above give her the choice.

I'm sure she knows the reasons why you think she needs to wear the aids but maybe agree that for a month she tries without and then evaluate. In this time and probably well before, she will work out that she is missing things that she wants to know, may see a difference in her marks or have to work harder to keep up both academically and socially. In the meantime do you have a local deaf children's society group where she could meet other cochlear implant wearers or maybe your implant centre can help?  CICS the Cochlear Implant Support group  can also provide opportunities to meet others. This might help her feel less isolated as she has her "tribe". Your daughter will appreciate that you are listening to her and respect that she is growing up and wanting to be more in control. I appreciate that it will tough for you but it is safer if she takes her risks with your knowledge, guidance and support rather than doing it in secret. Good Luck!

Posted by platespinner
31/03/21 12:28 PM

I'm going through this too at the moment with new bone conduction headband devices which has the dual horror for my DD (also 12) of being more visible than her usual aids and also having to wear headbands which she detests!

It's early days so I am saying to her that however long she can manage in the day I will be proud of her for trying, so at least she starts the school day wearing them. Hopefully she will build up confidence and increase wearing over time. She has the advantage of being able to pop in her old aid instead which is not sufficient for her needs but better than nothing.

I think avoiding turning it into a battle is important as then wearing the aids will turn into a negative rather than being the positive experience they should be. I understand and share your anxiety and sometimes seeing it from their perspective and being more relaxed can pay off in the long run.

You are not failing her as you have supported her by getting the hearing technology she needs and you have probably also made sure the people supporting her at school are aware of the situation too and will be doing all they can to help too.