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Kathi Blackmer

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About Kathi Blackmer

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  • Birthday 04/10/1964

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    Santa Clara, California USA

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  1. Do you think Congenital Amusia would fall under the Autism category, however mild it may be, just like Asperger’s?
  2. Have you checked out the Magic Piano app? That’s the only app that makes me feel like I’m an accomplished musician although that wasn’t my intention to begin with, lol. I love challenging myself on various puzzles, brain teasers and arcade games so when I saw this app my thought was, ‘This looks like a fun arcade game!’. My challenge was to ‘catch’ the dots as they come down to the line. In the process of tapping on the dots, I didn’t know I was producing a tune until my hearing friends started tapping their feet and clapping their hands along with me, perfectly in sync with my taps but all I hear is a series of pretty notes. This was intended as a musical app but for me, it’s an arcade game so I think differently when it comes to apps like these.
  3. My mother said that when I was little I would often tap on the keys going from left to right and always stopped at about 10 keys away from the end and I’d say “broken”, then go the opposite way back to the first key. I had always thought it was ‘broken’. I can hear the difference between the first key on the left and the last key I could hear on the right but I can’t notice the difference in the two keys if they are side by side. Also, another interesting note...I have only 1 uncle on my mother’s side and 1 niece (from my brother, who also has 70dB loss like you and has a CI) and both of them have Asperger’s Syndrome and very musically inclined. I have an IQ of 145 and I had wondered if I had Asperger’s as well, but my mother says I don’t cuz I did not have any difficulties in socializing and engaging in conversations. I also speak and read lips better than most deaf people who hear better than I do. Another reason that made me suspect that I have amusia was because of what my neurosurgeon said after she completed the CI surgery that lasted over 5 hours (which was a simple 45 mins to an hourlong procedure). The neurosurgeon, who has performed over a thousand implants, said that mine was the most difficult one she ever operated on because my brain was anatomically the ‘opposite’ of what it should have been. Not only that, the device was implanted in a different area in my skull than most CI recipients which is causing me a considerable amount of discomfort. I really wonder why she didn’t catch the ‘difference’ in my MRI scans before proceeding with the implant. I would like to have my brain examined to see if I’m truly amusic, unfortunately that will be difficult to do since I can no longer have MRI’s due to my implant. So, it raises an interesting question... how or do they test profoundly deaf people for amusia? By the way, thank you SO much for looking into this for me! You rock!
  4. Hi. I’m pretty much the same way with 115dB loss in both ears and grew up wearing hearing aids. I continue to rely on lip-reading even after I had a cochlear implant when I was 40. However, amusia pertains to music, not vocal speech. Can you hear music with your hearing aids and if so, are you able to remember or recognize the tunes if it was played again a minute later? I’ve been playing the same songs over and over again for 5 years now and yet I still don’t recognize the tune when I hear it being played. Amusics have virtually no musical memory whatsoever. I’ve been playing the piano by memorizing the ‘steps’ and using a visual metronome as a guidance, not by hearing the notes.
  5. About 4% of the population are amusic, 1 out of 1,000 babies are born profoundly deaf... does anyone know what percentage of the 4% are profoundly deaf? Are there ANY studies or research on ‘deaf’ Amusics? I feel so alone cuz I can’t find any info on having both defects at birth. Does anyone know anything??? Just in case researchers out there are working on a cure for amusia.... cochlear implants DOES NOT fix the problem. I still cannot process music but most of my deaf friends can. Am I amusic?
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