When Caroline Mannato’s son, Dominic, was born with unilateral microtia and atresia she worked with her audiologist to quickly have him aided with a bone anchored hearing system (BAHS). At six months old, he received his first BAHS, however, acoustical feedback was a constant issue.
“He has curly hair and the curls kept hitting the device and just from his hair, it would create feedback. It was constantly buzzing. I realized within the first few weeks this was not acceptable.” – Caroline Mannato
Caroline enrolled her son in an early intervention program to do monthly speech evaluations and through this program, she was able to connect with another mother whose daughter also had microtia and atresia.
“I invited her over for coffee and she brought her daughter’s Ponto device. I mentioned my feedback issues and she said they hadn’t experienced any. We compared my device to hers and I asked her ‘how do you turn it on’. She said it was on – it wasn’t vibrating or making any noise. I had mixed emotions thinking ‘why don’t I have this for my child’.” – Caroline Mannato
The Mannato family began researching and going to hearing events around the country trying to educate themselves on all available options. From Ear Community picnics to the Earicles Microtia Atresia Conference in California, and Vanderbilt Microtia and Atresia Clinic in Tennessee, Caroline specifically sought out adults who were BAHS users to speak to. She found that many adults had started with other BAHS’s and eventually switched to the Oticon Medical Ponto. It was these patient interactions and stories that confirmed for Caroline that Dominic needed the Ponto Bone Anchored Hearing System.
Dominic received the Ponto 3 SuperPower and was the first person programmed with a Ponto device at UNC-Chapel Hill. The results since then have been night and day.
“When we take it off, he points at it and he wants it. Then you put it on him and he smiles. Leaving the house is less of a hassle too now. I don’t have to take it off and put it back on him to prevent feedback. When it’s on, it’s on.” – Caroline Mannato
To other parents who are also on the journey of finding the best hearing option for their child, Caroline’s advice is research, because you have options.
If you’d like to learn more about the latest Ponto device – Ponto 3 SuperPower – click below to be connected with an audiologist.