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Helping hearing-impaired children in Tulsa

It's a cliché, but necessity really is the mother of invention. An audiologist and a speech pathologist looked around for just the right stuff, and when they couldn't find it, they created it.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells shows us how one of their ideas may help a little girl develop normal hearing.

Shelby Whitebird has an appointment with her audiologist, Jacque Scholl. "How's she doing with this?" Shelby is wearing a new kind of hearing aid holder, one that Jacque Scholl created for her because the one she had a wire device that was too tight on her head. Shelby’s mother, Jana Whitebird: "It was leaving and indention in her skull." It hurt and she wouldn't wear it.

Shelby was born with an undeveloped ear canal in her right ear, but her inner ear on that side is perfectly normal. The device she wears stimulates the nerves in her inner ear. She tried it out on me to show me how it works. Jacque Scholl: "We are keeping this one nerve alive so when she does have surgery it will be successful."

The important thing is to wear it. The new head band is working, but it is still sort of an experiment. Jacque Scholl: "She is my test mama, she comes back and tells me this works this doesn't work." This cute little head band to hold a hearing aid is part of a larger idea called Kidlfix Koncepts, tote bags and carry-alls in fun looking fabrics. The items include a lap-top bag, designed to carry hearing aid maintenance gear and to be more acceptable replacement for the logoed bag the stuff came in.

For Shelby the head band is a comfortable alternative to keep her wearing the device that'll give her a shot at normal hearing. Shelby will be two next month and can probably have ear-opening surgery when she's 7 or 8.

Kidlfix Koncepts has a web site if you'd like to know more.
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