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8-Month Baby Hears for First Time


[YouTube - Link]
Baby Jonathan was deaf from birth, but received a cochlear implant at 8 months. The way his expression changes when the device is turned on and he hears his mother's voice for the first time is pretty amazing. His father videotaped the moment.

- via holykaw

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by Marilyn Terrell.


Yes that is a great post. There is a really good photo of one of the first Cochlear implant children playing with blocks when he hears a sound and he has this amazing stunned look on his face. I looked for a little while but could only find this http://www.funny-city.com/2579/ which is sort of close.

Neat video.
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What baffles me, how we would know what the baby is hearing it? We have no way to know if the baby with cochlear implant is hearing the same way as other people do?
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Check out the documentary, Sound and Fury. Its about Deaf culture, Hearing culture and the politics of the cochlear implants.
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Someone with real life experience may provide some answers however while looking for the photo (that I didn't find), I found this. http://allday.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2009/12/11/4379750-the-root-family-beautiful-in-their-simplicity

The video, and article, link above is pretty cool. The two girls were born deaf and had dual implants, eventually, their pronunciation is excellent, for kids, which means they must be able to hear and discern sound very well.

ps: those kids are so cute watching themselves on camera on the tv show.
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Number23- Cochlear implants don't help people with hearing loss due to the receptor hair damage, that's true. But congenital deafness is almost always due to malformations or missing parts in the middle ear. Sometimes it's due to the brain not being able to process sounds, in which case the child will never hear. But cochlear implants help a lot of kids with severe hearing impairment or deafness, especially kids born with a cleft palate. They often end up with lots of ear problems at the same time.
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A very good documentary about a family encountered with the choice of getting their children cochlear implants or not is "Sound and Fury". It came out when the cochlear implant was a new (but already fairly proven) procedure and is a good watch even if you could care less about the implants themselves.

If anyone has Netflix, it's currently available to watch online, I believe.
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My (limited) understanding of cochlear implants is that they involve implanting a number of electrodes in the cochlea that connect to the acoustic nerve. This means that the signals that are not being generated by hair cells for whatever reason are produced by the implant. So they do work for dead or absent hair cells. But instead of hundreds of frequencies, the patient only hears a few frequencies, and they are hit or miss-- wherever the implants connect. They may involve a range of frequencies, but not what a person with normal hearing would hear. We can know what the patients hear and if you wanted to, hear what they do. But understand that since they are learning to make sense of what their acoustic nerve is delivering, just as we did as infants, they make more of their limited signal than we would. They still require extensive speech therapy to achieve good intelligibility. The earlier the person receives the implant, the better, because if there is no input during infancy and early childhood, the auditory processing system just doesn't happen. Adults who have acquired deafness after learning to talk have pretty good success-- adults who are congenitally deaf, not so much.
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Number23, why can't you just be happy for them?

This made me overjoyed! My mom is deaf (and blind) due to meningitis she got a little over two years ago. It took her A LOT of getting used to and she still has to work with it, but it has done so much...It has taken a lot of work on Mom's part, hard work. I cannot even describe my amazement at this TINY AMAZING feat of science and all it has done to help. This baby will be able to adapt quickly, children are incredibly resilient!
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She does have a cochlear implant, by the way. I realized after I posted that how poorly written it was...I was just happy cuz of the video.
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@ Lea
"Number23, why can't you just be happy for them?"

I heard an unusual expression many years ago in the navy. It's really fitting for #23 and those of his ilk.
'He'd bitch if he was hit in the nuts with a gold hammer.'

Very little in the world is ever perfect. But to take away some simple joys that others have is truly sad.
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@jasonchinsky

"What baffles me, how we would know what the baby is hearing it? We have no way to know if the baby with cochlear implant is hearing the same way as other people do?"

Does it really matter? Isn't it simply wonderful enough that the baby experienced something that made him smile?
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This child's life improved exponentially the moment that switch was turned on. Oh what beautiful things science and medicine can bring.
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