‘My mother practically cried when I heard a cricket chirping in the house,’ says a woman who got a cochlear implant at age 11.
Jane R. Madell, a pediatric audiology consultant and speech-language pathologist in Brooklyn, N.Y., wants every parent with a child who is born hearing-impaired to know that it is now possible for nearly all children with a severe hearing loss to learn to listen and speak as if their hearing were completely normal.
“Children identified with hearing loss at birth and fitted with technology in the first weeks of life blend in so well with everyone else that people don’t realize there are so many deaf children,” she told me. With the appropriate hearing device and auditory training for children and their caregivers during the preschool years, even those born deaf “will have the ability to learn with their peers when they start school,”
Dr. Madell said. “Eighty-five per cent of such children are successfully mainstreamed. Parents need to know that listening and spoken language is a possibility for their children.” Determined to get this message out to all who learn their children lack normal hearing, Dr Madell and Irene Taylor Brodsky produced a documentary, “The Listening Project,” to demonstrate the enormous help available through modern hearing assists and auditory training.