This is Jake. He’s in second grade. What’s he like? I asked his mom. She said:
“Jake loves to play hockey and baseball. He loves to swim and go to the beach. He is obsessed with Minecraft, Roblox and Legos. He is very creative and loves to build things. He also likes to write and illustrate his own books, sometimes finding pictures on the internet to print out for his books. He is pretty funny and outgoing. He loves to invite people over for dinner and hang in the hot tub, usually without me knowing. Another thing about Jake is he loves fruits and vegetables. He would give up a cupcake or doughnut for a plate of carrots and celery.”
Sound like any other kid you know? Probably many. (Except maybe for the part about giving up sweets for vegetables.)
Jake has been wearing a hearing aid since he was in pre-school. He was born with sensory neural hearing loss. At school it was hard for him to hear his teachers and to communicate. Once he got the hearing aids, he was much happier and began doing really well in school. He started to play sports, too; T-Ball, in Kindergarten. Unfortunately he couldn’t wear the hearing aids when he played; they would make loud whistling sounds (feedback) and they did not fit properly with the helmet on. So he could not hear the coaches from the sideline. He started playing hockey the same year and had the same challenges. He is unable to hear the coaches there, too.
We’re going to interview Jake to find out more. We’re also going to do some research into what products might already exist that could help him. Then we’re going to dream up some solutions that could help, too.
More to come…