At just three months old, a blue-eyed boy named Sam was diagnosed with profound hearing loss. His parents, Chris and Teresa, found comfort and hope as they learned that a cochlear implant could one day help Sam to hear.
Cochlear implants are devices that can restore the ability to sense sound by taking it from the environment to the hearing nerve and directly to the brain, bypassing the damaged parts of the ear. The implant must be inserted surgically, and the surgery can be done no earlier than a child's first birthday.
For Chris and Teresa, the cochlear implant offered hope that Sam would have a chance to hear them sing him a lullaby or read him a story, listen to the laughter of older brother Jack, and reach for all his dreams in life.
Through articles, photographs, and videos you can learn about this family's journey to help Sam hear.
Chapter One: The Diagnosis
Chris and Teresa learn that their son Sam has been born with a profound hearing loss.
Chapter Two: Finding the Way
Chris and Teresa learn all that they can about Sam's condition and the options for coping with his hearing loss.
Chapter Three: Surgery
The big day finally arrives — Sam undergoes cochlear implant surgery.
Chapter Four: Breaking the Silence
The implant is activated, marking a new beginning for Sam.
Chapter Five: New Beginnings
Almost 3 years old, Sam speaks and understands language spoken to him.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: May 2011
|HandSpeak This site is for people who have hearing impairments and anyone who knows someone with a hearing impairment. Learn hundreds of words and phrases in American Sign Language (ASL) here. Quick, animated movies show you how to move your hands.|
|American Speech-Language-Hearing Association This group provides services for professionals in audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech and hearing science, and advocates for people with communication disabilities.|
|H.E.A.R. Since 1988 H.E.A.R. has led the fight in hearing loss prevention among musicians, music industry workers and music fans.|
|National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders This division of the National Institutes of Health is devoted to preventing, detecting, diagnosing, and treating hearing problems and other communication disorders.|
|American Academy of Audiology The American Academy of Audiology, the world's largest professional organization of, by and for more than 10,000 audiologists, is dedicated to providing quality hearing care to the public.|
|Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD) Some kids have hearing loss due to auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD), a problem in the transmission of sound from the inner ear that makes sound disorganized when it reaches the brain.|
|What's Hearing Loss? Hearing loss happens when there is a problem with one or more parts of the ear or ears. Someone who has hearing loss may be able to hear some sounds or nothing at all. To learn more, read this article for kids.|
|Hearing Evaluation in Children Hearing problems can be treated if they're caught early, so it's important to get your child's hearing screened early and evaluated regularly.|
|Hearing Impairment Hearing impairment occurs when there's a problem with or damage to one or more parts of the ear. The degree of impairment can vary widely. Find out its causes and what can be done to help correct it.|
|Hearing Impairment: Advice From Kristin What's it like to have trouble hearing? Kristin can tell you. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Hearing Impairment: Kristin's Story You wouldn't know it to meet her, but when Kristin was only 18 months old, her doctors diagnosed her with a hearing impairment. She had to learn to hear in a very different way from her peers - and developed some handy lipreading skills along the way!|
|How Will I Know if My Child Has Trouble Hearing? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Going to a Speech Therapist You might visit a speech therapist if you're having trouble speaking or understanding others. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Cochlear Implants Sometimes called a "bionic ear," the cochlear implant can restore hearing for many kinds of hearing loss.|
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