January 31st, 2013
Keeping up on this story about the young girl shot for blogging about her objections to school closures in Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai us returning to a British hospital for further surgeries.
In addition to reconstructive surgery for her head, there is a plan for cochlear implant surgery as her injuries left her completely deaf in one ear. As a former speech pathologist who has taken numerous courses in audiology and deaf education, this seems extremely unusual. This kind of surgery is normally seen only in severely hard of hearing or deaf individuals. Where there is one, normally functioning ear, such intervention is not generally considered. Even hearing aids are rarely prescribed where one normal ear is present. There are some down-sides to having only one functioning ear (e.g. difficulty with sound localization), but training can help compensate for that problem.
Does anyone know why this is taking place? As always, best wishes to this courageous young woman.