Learning to hear with a cochlear implant can require some patience and practice. To make the most of training your brain to hear some individuals have found the following exercises helpful and beneficial.
Reading and listening to a fully abridged audio book helps the brain to make the connection between the words heard and words seen. By listening and looking at the words the connection can be made. To make this exercise more challenging, remove the visual and focus on the auditory input. This helps build one’s ability to understand what is being stated.
Overdrive is one website that has hundreds of books on tape that one can enjoy.
BOOKS ON TAPE
Public library systems typically have a number of books that are available on CD or tapes. These can be an excellent free resource of audio books. Tip: If you explain you are learning to hear through a cochlear implant, they may give you an extended loan.
KINDLES AND E-BOOK READERS
Modern technology has brought us some great new tools. A Kindle is the ability to read a book on a small tablet. There are speech functions on these items that will read the book to you. Reading aloud can help you hear your own voice level practice too.
Vbookz is another application that can be helpful. Vbookz is an application that can be downloaded for free from the Apple ITune store and provides the ability for PDF document and books to be read to you. This allows you to have a visual as well as auditory input. In addition you can remove the visual when your comfort level increases.
WEB BASED RESOURCES
Websites can also be helpful in helping us test our hearing and challenge us in hearing better.
- Aesop Fables
- English Listening
- Focus English
- Grimm Fairy Tales
- Learning English
- Many Things
- Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab
- The Listening Room
APPS FOR TABLETS AND APPLE PRODUCTS
Many lives are on the go and now many mobile devices have applications that can assist us in improving our hearing where ever we may be. In addition, these applications are simple for even children to utilize.
For a continually updated resource, check out our reviews page, where audiologist Tina Childress reviews apps for you.
Hear Coach – an awesome hearing test tool created by Starkey
SoundAMP R lets you use your mobile device like a hearing aid by amplifying sound and speech. Record lectures, presentations or conversations, then play them back with clear, loud sound. Additional functions allow you to bookmark sections of a recording for easy reference, and you can export the files straight to your computer. For the best results, you will need to use wired headphones and microphones. There is, however, one drawback to SoundAmp: the app cannot amplify music or phone calls.
Captionfish helps you find captioned and subtitled movies playing near you. You can also find out whether the movie is open-captioned (the text is on the screen), rear-window captioned (the text is on the seat in front of you) or closed captioned (using a special system). With this streamlined app, you can find accessible movies within 60 miles of your area. At your command, the app will display movie times, synopses and theater locations, providing you with all the information you need to enjoy a night out. Captionfish even streams captioned movie trailers, so you know just what to anticipate.
Listen to English- Learn English! is a free service aimed at learners of English as a foreign language. This means the spoken (British) English is slow and very clear. You can opt to subscribe to the RSS feed and receive podcasts with scripts, which you can download to your smartphone.
Others that you might find helpful, suggested by speech language therapists;
- SLP minimal pairs
- Smarty Speech
- Articulate it!
- /r/ intensive
- All About Sounds
- Sunny Articulation Phonology Test
- Speech Hangman
- Talking Tom
- Smart Oral Motor
- Speech Trainer 3D
- Pocket SLP Articulation
- Speech Stickers
- iTake Turns
- ABA flashcards
- iPractice Verbs
- Word SlapPs
- Speech with Milo
- Sentence Builder
- Preposition Remix
- Conversation Builder
- House of Learning
- Story Builder
- Clicky Sticky
- Playtime Theater
- Smarty Ears
- Language Builder
- Cookie Doodle
- My PlayHome
- Family Matters
- Naming Therapy
THINGS TO DO AT HOME
If you have a particular family member or voice that is hard to hear. You can consider some of the following activities to help you improve your hearing.
The Listening Room has weekly activities for different age individuals. The parent section has some great activities to do together with a child with a hearing loss.
Play games as a family. Even simple games like Go Fish can help you learn to listen and participate in a fun activity knowing the subject matter. If you want to make this all more challenging you can add some sound in the background (like a TV or Radio)
Have a family member read you a list of words in which you know the subject matter (colors or numbers 1 – 10). Start out by lip reading the words that they randomly pick. Then progress to not being able to lip read. Then to make this task tougher add some background noise to the room.