When participating in team sports, communication is key. Whether it’s the coach’s instructions, the teammates’ banter, or the cheers of the crowd, a Cochlear™ Implant or Baha® device can make a huge difference in your child’s ability to hear and communicate with others.

Meet Deagan, a fourth-grade student who plays basketball and flag football after school. His mom, Shannon, says that he didn’t used to wear his Baha 5 with the Softband while playing sports, but that changed when he moved to a team that played on an actual gym floor. With all the reverberation of basketballs being dribbled on the court, it became much harder to hear the sounds that mattered.

“Walking into the very first practice… I couldn’t hear what was going on, so I turned and asked him, ‘Can you hear anything right now?’ and he said, ‘’ From that day forward he started wearing his Baha to anything related to basketball,” Shannon said.

She added that Deagan’s hearing experience improved even more when they began using the Mini Mic to help him hear the coach’s instructions.

“The coach was very happy to help us out,” she said. “He was very proactive. He kind of felt empowered that he was helping Deagan to be able to hear.”

Shannon said that instead of waiting for other parents to ask her questions, she gave a “short and sweet” explanation of her son’s hearing loss and how his Baha worked at the beginning of the season.

“I proactively explained what it was rather than waiting for someone to ask or comments to be made,” she said.

Her advice to other parents is to use these situations as an opportunity to teach their child how to advocate for their hearing.

“When he was younger, I would teach his class (about his Baha). As he gets older, I have him help so he can learn to advocate and have the tools to explain his hearing loss and Baha,” Shannon said. “I would encourage any opportunity to educate people on it so it’s not something that’s different or scary.”

Shannon said she has noticed a difference in how Deagan plays since he began wearing his Baha during basketball practices and games.

“He can fully hear what’s going on and when other people call for him to pass the ball to them,” she said. “I wish I would have put it on him sooner rather than later.”

For more information on gearing your child up to participate in sports or physical activities, check out these 5 tips for parents with young athletes. To learn if your child may qualify for a Cochlear Implant or Baha device, click here.

*Views expressed by Cochlear recipients and hearing health providers are those of the individual. Consult your hearing health provider to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology. Outcomes and results may vary.
Skylar Mason

As a journalism student, Baha recipient, and Anders Tjellström Scholarship winner, Skylar is excited to join the team at Cochlear as an intern to tell the stories of other CI and Baha recipients! She attends the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.