Harry recently turned four and it is clear that his speech and understanding is very good for a four-year-old with cochlear implants. How did Lucie and Harry get to this point?
We go back on their journey to see the steps they took after they found out Harry is deaf.
At around the time Harry was six months old Lucie began looking into cochlear implant surgery. She felt that as Harry was getting older he was missing many beautiful sounds in the world. Lucie did extensive research on multiple perspectives. Eventually, she came to the conclusion to have Harry get cochlear implants.
“I certainly didn’t think that Harry needed to be ‘fixed,'” she says. “In fact, I still refer to him as a ‘deaf child,’ because – of course – he is and always will be deaf, he just has aids to help him hear. I did, however, want him to experience the world in the same way that his dad and I do, if that was at all possible. I didn’t want Harry to grow up and ask us why we never chose to give him hearing if we had the opportunity. If he decides one day that he actually doesn’t want to hear he can simply take away the cochlear implant hardware and chose never to wear his cochlear implant again.”
After Harry received his cochlear implants, he was learning how to use sign language and to speak. Lucie believes that sign language is beneficial for all children and that it helped Harry with his speech as well.
“In simpler terms, we use speech, sign language, body language, natural gestures and lipreading to communicate with our son Harry,” she says. “You may wonder why we use so many different methods of communicating. but we have found that this has been the best way for him to pick up speech with little frustration. It has also taught him to express himself not only through his voice but through his body language, and through sign.”
Of course, there are ups and downs with hearing loss, but Harry is doing well so far. Learn more about Harry’s hearing journey on Lucie’s YouTube channel.
Are you considering getting a cochlear implant? Visit Advanced Bionics to learn more.