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September 21, 2019

9/9/2019 10:25:00 AM
How a first time exhibitor "hears" her way through the showring
Evy Linscheid, with her show pig Eleanor during her first year as a livestock exhibitor for the 2019 Iowa County Fair.
Evy Linscheid, with her show pig Eleanor during her first year as a livestock exhibitor for the 2019 Iowa County Fair.
The Iowa County Fair in many ways is a time where an exhibitor showcases the hard work put in during the summer on their fair project. For a young girl from Cobb, that was no exception.
Evy Linscheid, 9, is a member of the Cobb Busy Badgers 4-H club. She is the daughter of Jason and Amanda Linscheid, has a sister named Lily and a brother named George. She is a fourth grader at Iowa Grant Elementary School. While at this year's county fair, she showed a March jersey dairy calf, and a pig named Eleanor whom she sold to Graber Farms during the annual livestock auction. She also had photography at the Iowa County fairhouse.
While she is like many kids her age showing livestock, the beginning of her story did not start so easy.
Jason and Amanda found that Evy had profound hearing loss through a newborn screening program. The program is compiled of a blood test, and a hearing evaluation. While she passed the blood test, she did not pass the hearing test.
"We were fortunate for this program because it indicated that we had something we needed to be concerned with, or to evaluate further," Amanda said.
Evy went through another round of tests two weeks after the newborn screening, which she also did not pass. This was where they concluded that she had profound hearing loss, which was confirmed when Evy was over one month old.
As a family they approached the diagnosis by looking at all of their options.
"We have family members who are deaf and were wonderful support for us," Amanda said. "Fortunately we knew an audiologist and really had an amazing support system right away."
The Linscheids are farmers outside of Cobb so they didn't have the opportunity to pick up their family and move to closer to specialized schools.
"It just wasn't feasible for us, because there are some amazing schools that are sign language intensive and phenomenal for other families, so we had to look at options that worked best for us."
That option came through a cochlear implant. According to Mayo Clinic, a cochlear implant is "an electronic device that partially restores hearing. It can be an option for people who have severe hearing loss from inner-ear damage and who receive limited benefit from hearing aids." While hearing aids amplify sound, a cochlear implant bypasses damaged portions of the ear to deliver sound signals to the auditory (hearing) nerve.
The cochlear implant Evy has, is through MED-EL. According to MED-EL, a cochlear implant consists of two parts: an externally worn audio processor, which sits comfortably behind or off the ear, and an internal cochlear implant, which is surgically placed just under the skin.
"They're little machines that have one piece in your head, and there's another piece that sticks to it that controls the volume and acts as little hair cells that are in your brain and your cochlea," Evy said. "I've been using them ever since and I do take them off at night."
It is quite an extensive screening process to even qualify for the cochlear implant both on the insurance side as well as on the medical side. One must make sure there are no other genetic or physical concerns that would intubate the success of the cochlear implants. Evy also had to complete an MRI. Evy received her hearing aids at two and a half months old.
The Linscheids decided that cochlear implants were the best option, as safety was the biggest consideration.
"We use our hearing so much on the farm to be aware of what's going on around us, being around cattle" Amanda said. "Cattle tell us so much by their noises or their breathing, and if there are tractors around. There was so much involved that we were just hoping to get some level of hearing with the cochlear implants to increase her safety on the farm."
The process began when she was six months old.
"On my birthday I got the cochlear implants," Evy said. "They were turned on the day after my birthday."
The cochlear implants have been a big part of Evy's life, but they have not been all of her life. She is just like any other kid showing livestock, and knows firsthand the hard work put in.
"I've really learned how to walk a pig in the show ring, and how to walk a dairy calf in the show ring," Evy said.
The cochlear implants are not the only way she has interpreted speaking, as vision has been a big part of her life.
"I've overcome the challenge of being deaf by reading lips," Evy said. "That's been a big thing I've learned when talking, and that's been kind of a big thing when I was in the show ring."
Her family has been a big support for her and is proud of her accomplishments.
"She is a very determined kid, and the cochlear implants don't make her that way," Amanda said. "She's an amazing little girl. I don't think we'd change much at all, because no matter what she's going to do or how she's going to do it, she's going to do it well."

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