At just 9 months, Charlie (who is profoundly deaf in both ears) is one of the youngest CHS clients ever to receive bilateral cochlear implants. Although the FDA has only approved implants as early as one year, some insurance companies will approve imlpants on a case-by-case basis. Studies continue to show that implants at a younger age result in stronger and faster achievement of spoken language for children with hearing loss.
Charlie was identified with hearing loss at infancy. Shortly after his diagnosis, his family relocated to Houston and came to the Center to receive ideal access to medical services. By 3 months, Charlie was fitted with eharing aids and immediately started speech sessions. His audiologist and speech-language pathologist quickly observed that Charlie was still not responding to sound. They jointly recommended that he receive cochlear implasnts as soon as possible.
Charlie's parents immediately began to petition their insurance company for approval to receive the implant surgery prior to one year. At just nine months, Charlie was approved and received his implants.
Prior to his implant surgery, Charlie could only hear loud sounds such as banging on a metal trashcan or someone shouting closely to his ear. He would never have had normal conversations or listen to music. Now Charlie is already responding to his name, swaying to music and, like most babies his age, says "Moo" and giggles when he sees a cow. We're sure he's going to be smiling from ear to ear as he hears his family sing Happy Birthday while they celebrate his first birthday!
Charlie's Mom says, "I can't imagine if he was just now receiving his surgery. He has already made so much progress. Working with the Center has taken away so much anxiety for my husband and me and given us hope to know that he has every opportunity. There's no doubt in my mind that a huge part of Charlie's success is due to the Center's dedication. It is so nice to be able to reply on experts through this process."
Charlie, his parents and CHS staff have hard work ahead of them in order for Charlie to reach his full potential. With the incredible results so far, Charlie and his community of suppporters continue toward his future in a world of sound.