This lovely and heartwarming letter came in to me today from a mother in England who purchased a book via this Danny the Dragon website. As an author this is one of those special moments in our lives that we know we are doing what we love and it is touching others. I think any other children’s author will agree with me on this.Hi Tina 🙂We have one VERY EXCITED little boy!! 🙂He absolutely loved waking up to a package on Saturday morning. Jumped out of bed and said “Can I go to School today?” and I said “No. But there is a surprise for you downstairs for being so good this week!”Thanks again for the great service via the site and the ordering arrangement.As for some of the extra bits and bobs sent in the package ( door hangers, bookmarkers, tattoos, pencils) some of them Ro intends to share with his friends. They will all be enjoying Danny the Dragon here in England.Thanks so much!MLV,Chantelle
When I visited a school for the deaf on my East Coast book tour for my children’s book, Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy, I hardly knew much of anything on the subject of deafness and hearing problems. Since making the promise to myself to reach out to deaf and hard of hearing children, first by releasing the first children’s book iPad app with sign language interpretation, I learned about tinnitus among children, surprised by how common it among kids. If your child has been diagnosed with tinnitus, you two can rest fairly comfortable with the fact that many children with tinnitus eventually grow out of it. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things you can do to alleviate it in the meantime. Along with a qualified healthcare practitioner, you may be able to find some natural remedies that can lessen your child’s tinnitus or cure it altogether.
There are many possible causes of tinnitus, a condition used to describe hearing a noise, such as ringing, not present in the environment. Tinnitus varies in its severity, ranging from hardly noticeable or mildly annoying to debilitating. Some possible causes of your child’s tinnitus could include ear or sinus infections, leftover fluid from an ear infection (which can last up to three months after the infection), earwax buildup, ear injuries, circulation problems, or abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear. Due to the variety of possible causes behind tinnitus, your child’s doctor may suggest any of a number of remedies including medication or sound therapy. Studies have shown, however, that there are natural remedies for tinnitus. It may be worth checking with your child’s doctor about these supplements and treatments. After all, according to health researcher and journalist June Russell, medications rarely improve tinnitus.
First, evaluate whether or not your child’s medication or diet is causing or aggravating the tinnitus. It’s possible that his or her medication may be toxic to the ear (“ototoxic”) or have the condition as one of its side effects. Switching to another medication, reducing the dosage, or discontinuing its use may help the tinnitus or get rid of it altogether. Food allergies have also been linked to tinnitus. Some possible diet culprits include aspartame, cheese, chocolate, soy, and tonic water. A diet low or free of salt and fat has also been recommended by experts.
A regimen of nutritional and herbal supplements has been recommended by physicians to help with tinnitus. Russell reports that tinnitus sufferers tend to be deficient in B-12. She writes, “Emily A. Kane, naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist, recommends a daily dose of 2,000 mcg of B-12 for one month, followed by a dose of 1,000 mcg daily, if needed.” Dr. Michael Seidman, MD, Director of the Henry Ford Health System, Department of Otolaryngology, Tinnitus Clinic, in Bloomfield, Michigan, recommends a wide variety of antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, choline, magnesium, melatonin, vinpocetine, Ginkgo biloba, ipriflavone, arginine, alpha lipoic acid, zinc, , n-acetylcysteine, Chinese herbs, B vitamins and garlic.
In fact, Ginkgo biloba is becoming increasingly used to treat tinnitus among European and American doctors; according to Russell, “a few good trials suggest that this herb may lower the perceived loudness.” Meet with a qualified health practitioner about how much of this supplement, and which type, to use for your child’s tinnitus.
Some other natural treatments include acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathy. Relaxation has been shown to relieve children’s tinnitus, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Consult your family’s physician for affective relaxation techniques and take practical steps to minimize your child’s stress level, such as helping him or her with homework or making sure he or she doesn’t take on too many extracurricular activities.
The good news is that, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, “most children with tinnitus seem to eventually outgrow the symptom.” However, this doesn’t mean your child should have to experience the discomfort of the condition if it can be remedied or at least alleviated with natural remedies. I encourage parents of children with tinnitus to meet with a qualified practitioner as soon as possible to find out if your child may benefit from these.
American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: Fact Sheet: When Your Child Has Tinnitus http://www.entnet.org/?q=node/1328
Communication Agents Journal: Treating Tinnitus Naturally http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/2005/05/04/treating_tinnitus_naturally.htm
Tinnitis can vary in severity among children, but as with any health condition, it can be hard to cope with it, especially when you’re a child. When I visited a school for the deaf on my East Coast book tour for my children’s book, Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy, I connected with the kids on a very special level and began to conduct research in the areas of deafness and hearing problems such as tinnitus. One of the most interesting discoveries I made had to do with how common tinnitus actually is, and how many great artists and celebrities must cope with this disorder as well. Share with your child some inspiring stories about artists who have learned to cope with and bring awareness to this complex condition.
In fact, with an estimated 50 million Americans suffering with some degree of tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association, it’s not an uncommon condition, as it affects more than 15% of the population. The severity of the condition varies, ranging from hardly noticeable or mildly annoying to debilitating. Your child’s tinnitus could have been set off by an ear or sinus infection, earwax buildup, medication, or an ear injury, among many possible causes. There are several recommended treatments and therapies, and according to experts, it’s likely that children with tinnitus will eventually outgrow the condition. One of the recommendations by the American Academy of Otolaryngology is to reassure that your child isn’t alone. What better way to do this than to share with your child the fact many artists and musicians have had or currently have tinnitus?
Despite their tinnitus, some famous figures from history were able to accomplish many great things in their fields. Such figures include the most famous reformer in history, Martin Luther, philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Vincent Van Gogh, and Jean-Jean-Francois Champollion, who deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone. American presidents with the condition include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.
Many musicians have suffered from tinnitus as well, including Ludwig Van Beethoven, Eric Clapton, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Ozzy Ozborne, Huey Lewis, and Bono. Songs about tinnitus include “Call Letter Blues” by Bob Dylan, “Turn the Page” by Bob Seger, “Something I Can Never Have” and “The Becoming” by Nine Inch Nails, and “Staring at the Sun” by U2.
Several celebrities have tinnitus caused by damage done to their ears during their careers. According to RingingEars.net, actor and comedian Steve Martin developed tinnitus from a gun shootout during the filming of Three Amigos! Pete Townsend of The Who sustained severing damage to his ears from playing music as well as an incident on stage when drummer Keith Moon blew up his drum set, which caused permanent deafness in one of Townsend’s ears. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy both experienced damage to their ears from their work on the set of Star Trek during mid 1960’s. Other celebrities with tinnitus include Sylvester Stallone, Leslie Nielson, and David Letterman, who has had tinnitus in one ear for a long time, according to RingingEars.net.
Your child is not only not alone with tinnitus, but he or she has the company of many great individuals who have learned to cope with their condition and sometimes channel their feelings into their work, creating musical pieces and contributing to their respective fields. Share some of these stories with your child and listen to some songs about tinnitus, and I bet your child will not only feel not alone but even a little special.
American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: Fact Sheet: When Your Child Has Tinnitus http://www.entnet.org/?q=node/1328
Before my visit to a school for the deaf on my East Coast book tour to promote my children’s title, Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy, I hardly knew anything about the subject of deaf literacy. However, since that life-changing day,when I decided to do something on behalf of this issue, I now understand the complexity of the issue, especially for parents of deaf children. Perhaps the most important decision you’ll make as the parent of a deaf child is which method of communication is best for your child. If you’ve decided that your child should join the 219,000 deaf people worldwide who have opted for cochlear implants along with deaf oral education so that they can use spoken language, the issue of timing comes up: when is the best time for your child to get the cochlear implants becomes an issue?
As the parent of a deaf child, it’s likely that you yourself are hearing and that the deaf world is new to you. After all, 90% of deaf children have hearing parents. That means there’s a lot to learn. If you’re interested in getting your young child cochlear implants, you’ve likely chosen this because you’d like your child to have the same opportunitities, educational and professional, as hearing children and adults. As your child becomes better and better with spoken language, you’ll find that he or she is able to attend the same regular classes and participate in the same activities as most of his or her peers. In this way, cochlear implants can be an exciting prospect with the promise of a bright future for your deaf child.
Now the question of “When?” arises. When is the best time for your child to get cochlear implantation surgery? According to research, early implantation allows for earlier exposure to sounds during the critical speech-learning period for children. According to Bella Online, most children are between the ages of 2 and 6 when they get their implants. In the U.S. in 2000, the age requirement for one of the types of cochlear implants was lowered to 12 months.
Is this too young? According to Bella Online, research is showing that “an overwhelmingly majority” of deaf children who don’t have any other health issues see an enhancement in their quality of life as a result of their cochlear implants: “The earlier the implantation the more likely the child will develop hearing, speech, language and cognitive skills at a level similar to a normal hearing child.” In addition to having the same educational and career opportunities, these children are easier to handle by their parents, fit in better socially, able to do activities like using a phone or going to the movies. Science Daily reports that in one study, “the children who received cochlear implants at the youngest ages have nearly the same spoken language skills as children with normal hearing.” Other unpublished studies show that by the age of 4 and a half years old, early implantation children have normal speech and could most likely start school with their hearing peers.
Deciding whether or not to go with cochlear implants is a complex decision, however, that requires time and research. Just as with any surgical procedure, there are risks. Parents may also be hesitant to have their small child undergo such an intensive procedure, and understandably. Moreover, once the procedure is done, the parts of the ear involved in hearing are permanently destroyed so that natural hearing will never take place. Deaf oral education and auditory-verbal therapy are also time-intensive, requiring the participation of the entire family. By the time your child has been correctly diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing, you’ve done your research, and come up with the funds for the operation, your child may be well into his toddler years or older.
As a children’s author and child and family advocate, I’m often asked for advice on all sorts of issues. Although I do lecture, speak, and write on a variety of subjects related to children, I always reassure parents that they are ultimately responsible for their child and know what’s best for him or her. Study the facts, seek professional advice from as many qualified specialists as possible, and consider what’s best for your child. The facts are showing that early implantation is highly effective in establishing language and speaking skills in deaf children, but the decision to go ahead with this is highly involved and will affect your child and your family from here on out.