If you are on Facebook, you may have already seen this video, but if you haven't seen it - you should. Imagine being three years old and hearing a sound for the first time. And that sound is your dad's voice. (You can watch the video here.) The look of amazement on his face is priceless.
Grayson Clamp, the boy in the video, is one of the first children to receive a new type of implant that helps the brain hear sound. He had been fit earlier with a cochlear implant, but without the necessary nerves for the implant to work, he was not able to benefit. This newer type of implant Grayson received has been around for a while for adults, but only recently was approved for a trial among children.
When I was younger, I often thought that being blind would be the worst disability in terms of losing a sense - but when I worked with the hearing impaired, I learned that when you can't hear, you are so isolated from the rest of the world. You can't hear the person behind you on the bus saying "excuse me," has she tries to pass. You can't hear the warning sirens nor cheers of joy. You can't communicate easily with the hearing world. So while I can understand that some people may not want the children to feel they are broken and need to be fixed, I can't understand why some people would want to restrict their children to a world where they can only communicate with others who can sign.
What do you think? Are we going too far in trying to help children with no hearing gain that sense? Or should we continue to do what we can to give the children what we can?