that is worn over the ear. The round part attaches via the magnet to the internal device above. The processor sends the sound signals to the electrodes in the cochlea and directly to the auditory nerve.
When everything works correctly, a person using a CI has full access to sound and language, but it is different from regular hearing. It produces a digitized sound, from what I've been told.
Now the audiologist will test the internal device today, while James is still in the OR. But he won't get the processor until October 23rd, his activation day. Everything inside has to heal before the processor can be used. Once activated, it will take quite some time before James understands what he's hearing. Think of it like a newborn. They can hear, but everything is just noise. It takes months before they can understand words and distinguish between sounds. With James, it will be like that and then some. His brain has gone a long time without any auditory input, so he has a lot of work to do to learn to hear. And while some kids with CIs do learn to talk and develop clear speech, others don't. We have no way of knowing which of those James will be, but if you know him, you know he's a "talker," so we are optimistic that he will be motivated to learn to speak. Either way, signing will be a part of his life, and our lives, because ultimately he is still a deaf child. So if you're thinking that his CI let's you off the hook for learning some sign language, it doesn't! :)))