Peter came to CID shortly after his birth hospital indicated the need for further hearing testing. His initial diagnosis was moderate hearing impairment. CID audiologists fit him with hearing aids and began monitoring his hearing at 4 months of age. CID family center staff visited the family at home from the beginning, to support them and help them begin to teach Peter to listen and talk.
By his first birthday, Peter had gained 20 or 30 words. By the time he was 18 months old, he lost all of his hearing and all of those words. It was difficult for his parents to accept the second “hit”—the progressive decline and final diagnosis of profound deafness in both ears—but they had the guidance and support of a strong professional community of audiologists and educators at CID.
In November of 2007, when Peter was 21 months old, he received two cochlear implants—one in each ear—on the same day.
At age 2, he attended CID’s toddler class. He had balance issues related to his hearing loss, so an occupational therapist worked closely with him and his teachers as he learned to get his bearings after learning to walk late. Over the next three years, he worked hard but had fun in his play-based CID pre-kindergarten, then kindergarten classes while receiving individualized attention in the areas he needed most. He received an intensive education designed to target his specific needs in developing speech, spoken language, academic and social skills.
In the spring of 2011, at age 6, Peter graduated from CID ready to go. In the fall, he entered first-grade alongside his peers with typical hearing in a school near where he lived. Now he is 9, a fourth-grader at his local school, on par with his peers both academically and socially. He’s a strong reader who loves drawing, music, dancing and technology of all kinds. His mom says he also loves the microphone. “It was amazing to witness our little boy go from withdrawing and regressing to a confident kid who is happy to share his ideas. We’re very thankful for CID.”
We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Peter and for many children like him for whom early intervention, technology and a CID education profoundly changes the trajectory of life. Children who graduate from CID typically attend college, and many pursue professional careers. But no matter what paths they take or choices they make, they leave CID with greatly expanded opportunities to communicate and succeed.