Hearing for the First Time. {Videos}

Via Waylon Lewis
on Sep 29, 2011
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7 week old boy has hearing aids on for the first time:

Update: a new one: “My wife lost her hearing when she was 2.5 years old doctors told her family she would never be able to talk. She was able to hear for a while with hearing aids. When we first met each other she was still able to hear with the aid of hearing aids. We got married and slowly i noticed her hearing getting worse. We tried new hearing aids and nothing seemed to help. The doctors suggested that we think about the cochlear implant. At the time my son just came into the world so we both decided it would be best to wait. Two years later we said now is a good time to do it. Things had been frustrating but we managed to work through it all. The surgery was not that bad. She was afraid of getting her head shaved more than anything. come to find out they didn’t even need to cut any hair. Tell this is the video of the device getting turned on for the first time. The following day she was out side with my son and heard a noise and my son who is 2.5 said birdie tweet tweet. We just want every one to know how well these things work.”


God bless Science.

You will cry.

Woman hearing herself for the first time:

I was born deaf and 8 weeks ago I received a hearing implant. This is the video of them turning it on and me hearing myself for the first time 🙂

8 Month Old Deaf Baby’s Reaction To Cochlear Implant Being Activated:

Cochlear implant switch on:





About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


16 Responses to “Hearing for the First Time. {Videos}”

  1. Ren says:

    I did cry! Absolutely awesome! I cannot thank you enough for sharing. I had seen one, but the other two are completely new to me. The first one really made me smile – and cry! Lots of tears, lots of joy!

  2. Oh, I cried alright.

  3. Kristen says:

    If you know anything about Deaf culture, cochlear implants are like the abortion debate. While yes, a grown woman receiving an implant and is able to hear is amazing (not all procedures are successful and most Deaf people will not understand what is being said to them. They still have to read lips because they are hearing English for the first time after the language acquisition stage of life has passed.), parents need to ask themselves why they aren't willing to learn sign language and immerse themselves in Deaf culture for their children. That child will not be able to play contact sports, scuba dive deeper than 10 ft. and cannot go through a metal detector. When he takes his cochlear off, he will still be Deaf, but without a Deaf identity. Hearing people need to stop thinking that being Deaf is something that needs to be fixed. Deafness is beautiful, Sign Language is beautiful, Deaf culture is one of the most amazing things I have ever been blessed to come into contact with. I am happy for those Deaf people who get to make that choice for themselves and enjoy hearing, but no hearing person should ever make that decision for a Deaf child. It's not your life.

  4. ken says:

    This did make me well up but why would you ask God for a blessing. God made these people deaf in the first place. Bless the men and women who studied hard their entire lives, the scientists that worked endlessly and tirelessly to help out mankind.

  5. rockbookcook says:

    I took this more as looking at the beauty presented in a different light.. I too know many deaf people who would never consider a cochlear and I too love deaf culture, but this is a beautiful thing to be seen (or heard).

  6. elephantjournal says:

    Thanks for this perspective. I think we can all agree that not only is there nothing wrong with being deaf, or deaf culture, but that yes it is beautiful. That said, too, hearing is a gift and we can celebrate and honor both. ~ W.

  7. Jenifer says:

    that said, seeing that baby go "woah!" and smiling is just the best thing. it's so wonderful when the pacifier just falls out of his mouth in joyous shock. it's truly amazing.

  8. Tyree Vibbard says:

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  9. Liag says:

    My first thought was how in the world is she understanding what the technician is saying to her if she's never heard words before. That doesn't make sense at all.

  10. Shamica says:

    This is truly inspiring and I am amazed that she was able to hear despite of being deaf since she was born. I hope I can find the best hearing aids Perth for my grandfather who loves playing piano.

  11. Howard says:

    Cochlear implants don't work for everyone… my father, for one, who lost his hearing at age 14 because of spinal meningitis. The implant simply didn't work for him because his neural pathways would not support it. He knew the odds were against him, and he was game to try. Not every deaf person is… many deaf people do not regard deafness as a disability, odd as that may sound to people who can hear.

  12. tgk says:

    I get what you're saying and Deaf culture is indeed beautiful.
    I also see that every single person who I've seen (youtube etc) with a successful implant cries with joy. That baby just lit up hearing his mom's voice. That's got to mean something.
    I am not Deaf, and music is one of my greatest joys. Why wouldn't I want my child to have that experience?
    Put another way: If someone offered me the chance to activate a "new" sense that other people had and seemed to benefit from, would I say yes? Absolutely! Would it be a cultural shift? Yes! I would still want it

  13. Cliff says:

    I am the hearing father of a Deaf man. I am a professional musician as well as a research scientist. My son will never hear. We had an opportunity to provide him with cochlear implants when they were new (one channel!) and decided not to. Best decision of our lives. My Deaf son has little interest in music. Neither does my hearing daughter. My other son is a musician as well.
    People are all different. Rather than expect them to be a certain person or project our wants onto them, why not just let them grow up and be who they are, developing their own interests, skills, genius… Expectation is a straightjacket put on other people because of the inability to realize the wonderful variety of experiences possible in the world and insist that there is a "standard set" of experiences one must have. My Deaf son has many wonderful skills, abilities, and experiences, some of which are not available in the same way to a hearing person. I sincerely believe that this range of variability may create truly novel ways of thinking that will be of great benefit to the world, leading to ideas and solutions that may not occur to a hearing person. Celebrate diversity in all its glory!

  14. Cliff says:

    If you have spent any time in the Deaf community, you would cry at the beauty of the communication. Try it.

  15. Vanessa says:

    I have read enlightening opinions like yours before, which I do think about every now and then. While I agree that being deaf is not the worst of incomplete congenital developments to be born with, meaning I don't think it's the worst condition to be walking on this planet with, it is an advantageous component, although not vital for the most part. I do appreciate you stating that you feel parents are "forcing" their deaf children into a hearing world, and that's one way to look at it. But by the same token, you contradict your sentiment against this move, by criticizing the fact that the adults would be receiving the implants at a stage when the assimilation of language has passed. So, in your opinion, when is it ok to introduce the option of an implant to a person who may want it? It is never too late to learn a foreign language; there are schools and teachers who make their living this way. But for an implanted deaf person to now learn the hearing and speaking part of a language they are already familiar with, it will be an advantage, and even easier than a hearing person learning a whole new language altogether. That being said, contact sports and scuba diving are not the only things in the world a child can play. I would not be sad for a child who couldn't go around smacking himself in the head 50 times in a 3 hour period, 5 times a week. Of even if he couldn't dive deeply. But I do feel for the maternal instinct of needing to hear your mom's voice, your child's different cries, and needing to hear your child when in danger. I can relate to that. There are many medical conditions out there repaired with an implanted device, whose owners can't go through a metal detector. Big deal. That's what they carry a card or a bracelet for. And passing through a metal detector is also not an everyday occurrence, or a vital necessity. I do agree with you also, in that Sign Language is fantastic! I've been trying to learn it myself for years, a little at a time. I believe we should all learn at least some basic signs to communicate with our deaf contacts, just like some people learn basic Spanish to get to the bathroom, order food, or just say "hi! you look nice today!" or "are you ok?" if someone needs help. I don't know that I would describe deafness as "beautiful," though. But I do enjoy my completely silent moments away from the chaos every now and then. Implants of all kinds are there for a reason, Kristen, not created in mind with intent to insult or undermine a person's accidental or natural condition. People who work in this industry, work really hard with intent to empower the recipients of all kinds of implants, as they are intended to equalize their playing ground so that their limitations are fewer, if any left, in their pursuit of 80-some years of life and its complicated circles.