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Advanced Bionics Launches New Pediatric Accessories Including the Melody Doll

Valencia, Calif., July 23, 2009 - Advanced Bionics recently announced the launch of their Bionic Ears for Kids kit, which contains the newest addition to the Bionic Family, Buddy's younger sister, Melody, as well as several newly developed accessories that will make living with a cochlear implant easier, more convenient and more comfortable for pediatric patients. Entire kits were delivered to audiologists and clinicians at over 200 centers nationwide. An additional 100 centers received the company's latest child-centered brochure, Bionic Ears for Kids.

"We are committed to improving the quality of life of children impacted by hearing loss," said Jeff Greiner, CEO of Advanced Bionics. "These new accessories are designed to provide more wearing options for our younger patients and more peace of mind for their parents."

The launch is focused on the unveiling of AB's newest mascot, Melody, a plush monkey that is given to children receiving cochlear implants to comfort them through the process of the surgery, activation and rehabilitation. Melody, who has two bionic ears, joins her older brother Buddy, who is implanted with one, on their journeys to hearing. The doll's musical moniker is a tribute to Advanced Bionics' industry-leading commitment to software upgrades for its "bionic ears" that enable superior music listening. The company's Harmony® HiResolution® Bionic Ear System offers the most advanced listening experience of any cochlear implant available. It's the only cochlear implant with the 120 spectral bands necessary for deaf patients to go beyond deciphering simple speech to hearing - and enjoying - music.

The following new accessories, created to help little ears hear big, were included in the kit:

  • A Platinum Speech Processor (PSP) Bilateral Harness, available in pink or blue, that holds and protects two processors.
  • A Bionic Buddy Critter Clip that attaches to your child's clothing so if the processor falls off the ear, it won't go too far.
  • A Snuggie that securely fits over little ears to keep the active child's processor in place
  • The Adventures of Bionic Buddy DVD that explains the cochlear implant process to children in a fun, cartoon format.

In addition, the company's Bionic Ear Association (BEA) serves as a valuable support network whose mission is to meet the needs of children with cochlear implants and their families. The BEA offers tools, educational materials and training to help children reach their maximum hearing potential. Some of these programs include:

  • www.HearingJourney.com, an online community forum that serves as an instant online connection with other cochlear implant families.
  • Tools For Schools (TFS), a program designed to provide school and hearing professionals with the educational and rehabilitative resources needed to foster a child's auditory, speech, and language development.
  • The Listening Room,TM a support website for parents and professionals that provides ideas, materials, and guidance to promote active listening and language stimulation.

Children who are born deaf or lose their hearing before the age of 3 can experience a significant delay in language development. Parents who choose to implant their children at an early age are taking a decisive step toward narrowing the language gap between their child and their normal-hearing peers.

"By age 3, children need to hear approximately 30,000 words a day to develop the language skills necessary to succeed in school," Greiner said. "The more parents know about the benefit of early implantation, the more willing they are to implant their young children to provide them a better future."

About Advanced Bionics

Founded in 1993 by Al Mann, Advanced Bionics is an innovative manufacturer of auditory technologies. Headquartered in Valencia, Calif., Advanced Bionics is the only American manufacturer of cochlear implants - the only technology approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to functionally restore a human sense. Cochlear implants are surgically implanted electronic devices for people with profound hearing loss. To learn more about Advanced Bionics and its revolutionary cochlear implant technology, visit www.BionicEar.com.

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