This sound barrier can be broken

From The Australian, 10 January 2009:
At age two years and seven months, William Long is already an unstoppable chatterbox. “People say ‘oh my goodness, he really doesn’t stop talking’,” says his mother Sandra. Not that this would normally be considered that unusual, except for the fact that William is profoundly deaf, and has been since birth.
The discovery when their son was just three days old that he could not hear a sound came as a huge shock to Sandra and her husband. Neither had any family history of hearing problems, and no apparent cause could be found for William’s condition.
“I had this baby and I thought I can’t talk to him and he can’t hear me so I sort of shut down,” Sandra recalls. “I didn’t develop that loving bond.”
Thankfully, a chance meeting at an early intervention centre brought the Long family into contact with Dimity Dornan, founder of the Hear and Say Centre—a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in teaching hearing-impaired children to listen and speak through a program called auditory-verbal therapy.
As a result of that meeting, and receiving cochlear implants, William is now a consummate conversationalist who is scoring well above his age in auditory comprehension—what he understands—and expressive communication. He embodies the results of a recent study showing auditory-verbal therapy effectively levels the playing field for deaf children with cochlear implants in terms of speech, listening and language development. Read more in newspaper.

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