Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. Jacob is 21 years old and just moved into an apartment with his girlfriend. He graduated from a technical college with an Associate's degree in Computer Maintenance. He works for a school district as a computer technician. Elijah is almost 18 years old. He is hearing impaired, has Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is a junior in high school. Elijah lives with his mom Mary and her wife, his stepmom. Mary has a bachelor's in deaf education and a masters in special education, and is an educational diagnostician. Life is always changing and this blog has chronicled many of these changes and will continue to do so!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Freedom Obsolescence Process

The Freedom Processor by Cochlear Corp. is in the obsolescence process. I received an email from them explaining the process.

Jan 30, 2016
Dear Cochlear Family Member,
Our promise of “Hear now. And always” means we strive to bring you improved sound processor technologies and services designed to help you hear moments that matter most to you. 
Did you know the Cochlear™ Nucleus® Freedom® Sound Processor has been in the market for nearly eleven years?  This means that the sound processor is reaching its end of life; hence, we begin the obsolescence process. Our records indicate that you may currently use a Freedom Sound Processor. Please make note of the following milestones: 
  • End of Sale – Effective immediately, the sound processor and associated service plans (extended warranties) are no longer available for purchase.  Aftermarket components and accessories such as coil/cables will remain available for purchase contingent upon supply levels until December 31, 2016. Warranties for new products purchased will end on December 31, 2016.
  • Trade-In – Through June 30, 2016, Cochlear will give a $2,000 trade-in allowance for the Freedom Sound Processor when upgrading to the Nucleus 6 Sound Processor and using the self-pay option.
  • Repair Services – Cochlear will continue to repair the sound processor through December 31, 2016. All repair warranties will end on December 31, 2016.
  • End of Life – The sound processor is no longer supported after December 31, 2016. This means that if your Freedom Sound Processor stops working, Cochlear cannot repair it. Or if you lose a part or accessory, Cochlear cannot replace it.
Elijah currently has two Nucleus 6 Processors that are about 18 months old. He also has four Freedom processors that are not being used. I am going to call SunMed tomorrow and see if he can get two new Nucleus 6 processors since the Freedom processors are going obsolete. I figure it is worth a shot. He upgraded to the Freedom processors back in 2006 and then his body worn processors went obsolete about 2 years later and we were able to trade those in for two new Freedom processors. We shall see what happens.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Life is Funny

Body Worn Processor
I met a friend of mine at a Mexican restaurant to celebrate our graduation from college and earning our Master's Degrees in Special Education. Elijah went along with me because I didn't want to leave him at home alone. My friend and I talked and we all ate a great meal. Elijah was busy playing games on his iPhone and really didn't pay us much attention!

My friend and I were talking about the certification test she still needs to take and our future plans in education. One of the managers of the restaurant came over and asked us how our meal was. My friend spoke to him about another manager that works there. She said he husband went to college with the other manager and they spoke for a few minutes. This manager then said, "The reason I came over is my son is deaf and he just got his cochlear implants." I asked him how old his son was and his son is 12 months old. I told him a bit about Elijah and how he was turned on with his first implant at 18 months of age and how he got his second one at the age of 4 1/2 years. He asked me how Elijah was doing and I proceeded to ask Elijah some questions. Elijah answered them all without even looking up from his iPhone. The manager then showed my friend and me a video of his son being activated. It was exciting to see how the boy reacted to hearing for the first time. The gentleman stayed and talked to us for several more minutes and I encouraged him to make sure he took his son to auditory verbal therapy and to TALK all the time to him. His son has the Nucleus 6 processor like Elijah wears now. I told him about Elijah's first processor which was a body worn processor. He was surprised to hear they used to be so big!
Nucleus 6 Processor
I also told him that I had continued to sign with Elijah when he was first turned on, and that sign slowly faded as Elijah learned to talk!

It was a very interesting conversation. The man was very encouraged and thanked me for my time I have not had this happen in a very long time. When Elijah was younger I was approached by parents of deaf children and adults with hearing loss all the time it seemed. I am not sure if it is becoming more common to see CI processors on people or if I just don't have Elijah with me as much as I did when he was younger. It was nice to hear this man's story and see how excited he was about his son's journey with hearing. I am happy that Elijah and I could be a part of that.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


The doctor called with the results of Elijah's genetic testing. It seems that he does metabolize some of his meds differently than others. This means he needs a high dosage of these medicines, which he is already on. The doctor said that it explains why he needs these larger doses that other people don't need. She doesn't want to change any of his medications at this point, but we had already changed one of his ADHD medications by increasing it. We go back on Feb. 2nd to discuss how he is doing. I am not sure if she will want to make changes then or not. Overall, I am glad we did the testing. It helps explain why he needs these larger dosages of medicines. Hopefully we can continue to use this information to assist with future decisions.