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Change One Family’s Life at a Time with a Click of a Mouse

July 27th, 2014 by | Tags: , , | Comments Off

About seven years ago, I received an email from a deaf mother, which was sent through this website, Cochlear Implant Online.  She told me that she grew up learning to speak and communicate in sign language. She was a successful ice skater, learned to play the flute, and received a bachelors degree from a mainstream college and a masters degree from Gallaudet.  She said that while she is proud of what she could accomplish as a deaf person, she felt that she could do more if she could hear. She then told me that she has a baby who was born deaf. She originally planned not to get cochlear implants for him.  However, she decided to reconsider her decision because of a story that was posted on this website. A deaf mother who speaks and communicates in sign language wrote a story about raising two deaf children and why she chose cochlear implants for them.  The deaf mother who contacted me asked me if she could get in touch with the deaf mother who wrote the story. I put the two in touch.

Seven years later, the child of the deaf mother who contacted me is hearing with bilateral cochlear implants which he received close to the age of two years old and speaking and hearing like any other children who hear normally. His language skills are now on level. Because his parents’ primary mode of communication is sign language, he also communicates in sign language.  He is also attending a mainstream school and thriving.

This story is one of many reasons why advocating for cochlear implants and listening and spoken language has been so important to me.  This story is also why I so appreciate that we have a great community of writers, readers and followers on social media. I am so thankful for people like the deaf mother who wrote their stories for Cochlear Implant Online because they are changing the lives of people with hearing loss.  I also really appreciate seeing readers and followers on social media sharing our articles.  With a single click of a mouse, you are unknowingly changing other people’s lives.

Parents of newly diagnosed deaf children are unfortunately still receiving inaccurate information about how to lead their children’s hearing loss journey.  Many are still being told that cochlear implants do not work well, and they cannot successfully learn listening and spoken language with ease.  Many are underestimating the power of the technology and not fully realizing that deaf children do have the potential to understand speech clearly without lipreading and pick up language through hearing.  Many are also not realizing the importance of rehabilitation and the effort that needs to be put into teaching children to hear through cochlear implants.

I would like to ask readers to please continue to educate others about cochlear implants and listening and spoken language.  Participate in hearing loss related Facebook groups and inform parents of newly diagnosed deaf children the ability that cochlear implants have provided to your children and the importance of rehabilitation.  Film yourself or your child speaking, upload it to YouTube, and share it with others.  If you would like to share your cochlear implant journey with others, please do submit it to us for publication on Cochlear Implant Online.

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