Cochlear Implant Letter Argumentative Essay Examples

Type of paper: Argumentative Essay

Topic: Family, Children, Hearing, World, Deaf, Community, Life, Parents

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/29

Dear Peter and Nita Artenian,

How are you? I am so happy to meet you, even through a letter. I am a university freshman who is studying different cultures this semester. We have been viewing the documentary Sound and Fury in one of my classes. I learned a great deal from the film, it was very courageous for you and your family to allow the documentary to be made. Thank you for that. Self-identity is something I am struggling with while taking classes at the university. I am learning so many new things, that I am making a lot of decisions about how I present myself in the world. I recognize in myself similar struggles with identity that are discussed in the documentary; identity through self-expression, in our family and in the larger world of the deaf and hearing community. I learned how greatly important self-identification with the deaf community is to you and your husband. The documentary showed clearly that you do not want Heather to lose her identification with the non-hearing members of your family or with the larger deaf community.
I wanted to talk to you about the choices of allowing Heather to use the cochlear implant or not. I hope you will be patient and listen to the thoughts I have on the subject. Heather should be allowed to have the cochlear implant to support her self-esteem in her social life, in her career and in her whole life.
Heather is a fortunate child because she is in a home with two loving parents and a loving extended family. Everyone in the family is very passionate about what needs to be done, and the depth of the arguments shows how much each family member wants to do the right thing. The arguments are coming from a place of love no matter what the opinion of the speaker. One fact that you may not be hearing from your parents and your parents-in-law is their own experiences with the outside world, while trying to raise a family in a larger community that does not easily accept non-hearing members. A new perspective for you may be for you to put yourself in the place of your parents and then you can better understand their point-of-view. Heather has the opportunity to be able to experience ‘the best of both worlds,’ the deaf and the hearing communities simply by growing up in her own family. Any large change in a child’s or an adult’s life is bound to influence everyone within the family circle.
The cochlear implant will allow Heather to experience the hearing world, the speaking world and still be comfortable when she is immersed in the deaf community. You, your husband, and your children make up a miniature deaf community. In your own family you will continue to have control over how interactions take place Therefore, control in the home environment is up to you and your husband who do not have to communicate at home by anyone else’s rules.
Many innovations have come into the world and given people everywhere a higher quality of life. From the perspective that the cochlear Implant is a new innovation it does not go against nature, instead the device enhances the quality of life for many people who are non-hearing. It would be great if you could remain open-minded to giving Heather the implant so she
can develop her hearing and speech as she grows. Childhood is the natural time of life for the development of hearing and speech in hearing children, so it is reasonable to apply the same way of thinking to Heather’s development.
Peter is the first person in the family who uses the cochlear implant. The decision by your brother-in-law and his wife to implant the device while Peter is still an infant ensures that Heather will not be the only one in the family with the cochlear hearing aid. She will not be singled out as being different in her own family and neither will Peter because he is still an infant. The diversity will strengthen the family, because people with different speaking and hearing abilities are all accepted and loved. The family is a wonderful foundation for Heather, but when you remember growing up, do you remember that it was very difficult to be non-hearing in a hearing world? Was having the love and support of your family enough to stop the way you were treated by the hearing children? You and your husband need to remember childhood experiences and decide if you want Heather to have the same or healthier experiences.
Heather is a lovely child who has already established her deaf identity. If Heather is allowed to have the cochlear implant she will have an opportunity to become exposed to a much larger world. She will have the opportunity to be the person she wants to be and to do whatever she likes regardless of her deafness. The ability to hear will open doors for her in the world, instead of creating limitations for her as she attempts to live her dreams.
On the other hand, Nathan Lane (1999) argued that a non-hearing child who receives an implant will not fit well into either the deaf or the hearing community (4). He described problems children with cochlear implant might experience, because he worried about problems with emotional adjustment, personal identity, and even mental health (5). Another problem that sounds frightening is that non-hearing children who begin to hear will “generally rely on vision rather than hearing” (4). The worrisome part about Lane’s argument is the way he uses fear to manipulate the emotions of the readers. Lane’s strategy raises some warning bells about the confidence he has in the argument he makes. A study of Swedish children reported that most of the children with implants in a regular school setting showed a strong sense of coherence (Anmyr et al.610). The mental health of most of the children was similar to the hearing children with no implants (610).
Lane makes the assumption that young children fitted with the implant will not learn American Sign Language (ASL). I would like to point out that whether or not a deaf child learns or continues to use ASL is up to their parents. The film showed the visit you had with the hearing parents who had not learned ASL and had not taught their children ASL. I agree that not learning ASL is a big mistake in that family and they had no right to try to make you feel guilty about your concerns with your child’s identity. They were not perfect parents who had made perfect decisions. I would make the argument that the hearing world needs to learn more than one language including ASL. Communities and families need to think about the situations that arise when sign language is more useful than oral speech, such as in very noisy shopping malls and concerts or during disasters with explosions. Given these examples, I still feel very strongly that Heather will have more opportunities and fewer challenges in her life are she receives the implant.
A scientific research study was carried out to learn how word-learning takes place in children who have received cochlear implants. Houston et al. counter the arguments of Lane with the results they reported (41). The wonderful advantage of the cochlear implants is that it is the first invention offering even deaf children access to learning the sound patterns of words (41). In the research, the age of the observed children ranged from two to five years (41). More recent information from scientific research has a very different view of the cochlear implant and the impact of the development of the children. The researchers observed the children when they were playing with Beanie Babies. The children who had received cochlear impacts did not do as well as their hearing counterparts with immediate identification, meaning that their phonological development for word-object was somewhat delayed (18). The memory retention for word-object pairs was found to be similar in both sets of children (18). The findings indicate that the implants enhance the identity of the children with the large world instead of setting them apart.
Fernandes et al. also demonstrated disagreement with Lane’s arguments. The researchers carried out a comprehensive literature review on the cochlear implants for helping children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. The first sentence in the abstract of the journal article states that “there are no doubts about the benefits of cochlear implants for the development of children with severe or profound hearing loss” (85). The explanation also shows why children with more complex needs were chosen as the study topic; the benefits of cochlear implants for non-hearing children are well established. That means that so many young non-hearing infants and children have done well in the world and received many benefits due to the cochlear implant, the need to study the outcomes is no longer necessary.
Learning the spoken language requires connecting the meaning of a word to the sound patterns a word makes. The surgery is a natural solution to the problem because instead of raising the level of sounds (like hearing aids), the cochlear device is surgically implanted so that the damaged hearing cells are bypassed and sound signals are directly sent to the brain (Cochlear Implants & Cochlear Implant Technology). Please reconsider your decision and allow Heather to receive the implant. Her life will become much richer and so will yours.
Sincerely yours,

Works Cited

Anmyr, L. Mariann Olsson, Anders Freijd, and Kjerstin Larsson. “Sense of coherence, social networks, and mental health among children with a cochlear implant”, International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 79(4): 610-615. 2015. Web. 1 March 2015. < >
Cochlear Implants & Cochlear Implant Technology. 2015. Web. 21 February 2015. <>
Houston, Derek M., Allyson K. Carter, David B. Pisoni, Karen Iler Kirk, and Elizabeth A. Young. “Word Learning in Children Following Cochlear Implantation”, The Volta review 105.1 (2005): 41–72. Print.
Lane, H. The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community. NY: Random House, 1999; 1992. Print.
Russell, T., A. Brizee, and E. Angeli. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 4 Apr. 2010. Web. 20 March 2015.
Sound and Fury. Dir. Josh Aronson. Next Wave Films. 2000. Documentary Video, YouTube, 12 November 2012 Web. 23 March 2015. <>

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WePapers. (2020, December, 29) Cochlear Implant Letter Argumentative Essay Examples. Retrieved October 03, 2023, from
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