Here's how it works: The device receives a radio signal from the microphone in the chapel, which it then sends to whatever "speaker" device is plugged into it - whether headphones (in which case this device is simply an amplifier) or in Chance's case, a NoizFree telecoil earhook, which in turn transmits the signal it receives to the implant via telecoil technologies. When Chance turns his implant into telecoil mode, it will only receive input from the telecoil device, and not from the implant's microphone (at least until we visit the audiologist and have a telecoil-microphone blend programmed in). The effect here is that Chance is listening directly to the signal from the microphone in the chapel, rather than to the standard paper shuffling and baby noises from those seated nearby.
It really seemed to help Chance to hear, he was totally focused and was really in to the meeting.
The thing is, once Chance is plugged into this device, he can not hear what is going on around him, he only hears what is coming through the microphone up front. This is great for Chance to be able to concentrate on what is being said, but it means that he can not hear us.
It just so happened that during the service last week Chance's little brother had to answer nature's call. Chance's dad went out to assist in this endeavor and I stayed on the pew up near the front of the chapel.
Soon the baby began to fuss and she did not want to be soothed there on the bench so I got up and went to the back of the chapel to kind of bounce her so she would be quiet. Babies always seem to know the difference between if you are sitting or standing to soothe them and they prefer standing.
From my spot in the back, I could see Chance and his siblings on the pew. I figured Chance's dad would be back from the loo soon and would sit with the kids while I kept the baby happy.
It occured to me while I stood in the back keeping an eye on my kids that while Chance was totally into the speaker, the other kids had no idea that he could not hear them.
I started praying that there would not be an incident where the kids tried to talk to Chance and caused an incident when he would not respond.
Then, both of Chance's brothers came back into the service.....without Chance's dad. As the kids approached our pew, I started praying harder that there would not be an incident. Chance, who was totally focused on the talk, was sitting at the end of the pew and the boys were going to have to slip past Chance in order to sit down.
This was the perfect storm brewing. The kids were alone on the pew, with everyone having to slide past Chance who could not hear anything only no one was aware that Chance could not hear them.
I was most concerned about Chance's little brother. His volume tends to go up quite a bit when he feels he is not being heard or when he does not get a response. I could just envision him asking Chance to slide over or something and then getting progressively louder when Chance would not respond.
Still Chance's dad did not return. I was near the door, so if there was an incident, I figured maybe I could just slip out and not have to witness it.
When Chance's brother got to the pew, he did start talking to Chance, and Chance did not respond. Luckily, his brother just kind of looked at Chance and moved on.
Then Chance's dad, who it turns out was fixing the soap dispenser in the restroom - so all those young kids could actually wash their hands with soap - came back in and I could breath easy again.
I realized that it would be a fabulous idea to explain to Chance's siblings that when Chance had the device on, he can not hear them so as to avoid any unnecessary expectations on their part.
My prayers were answered. There was no incident. Thank goodness.