Nine months old Timas was born profoundly deaf…
I met his wonderful mommy, Aiste, who is originally from Lithuania, in my American Sign Language class. I’ve been taking this class since September as I’m hoping to become an interpreter and Aiste is learning sign language to teach her son the deaf way of communication.
Not hearing versus hearing with a Cochlear device in the deaf world has been quite the controversial topic in deaf communities and also in my ASL class. We have had many different views after watching documentaries about this fascinating concept. We even met a deaf girl, Loni from Carson City who had the device implanted at the age of eight and she has stopped using it. She is in her early twenties now and is very passionate about why she became opposed to its use and why it’s better for her to live the way she is comfortable living, without hearing.
While looking at pros and cons, my friend has had one wish: to give her son the ability to hear at a very young age, but never diminishing the fact that he’ll always be deaf. She battled the insurance companies for months to approve the Cochlear surgery for Tim. About a week ago she got the green light and this beautiful little boy is going in for surgery in just a couple of days!
Aiste asked me to take some photos of her baby before the surgery and I was beyond belief honored to do that!
It was interesting to try to get little Tim’s attention… I kept catching myself wanting to make noise, but every time I realized with a smile that it was not going to work. All things without sounds become only visual.
Aiste and I were cracking up waiving our arms, moving our bodies side to side, jumping up and down, even throwing things towards Timas just to get him to look! And this adorable little guy just kept doing what any other almost one year old baby would do… Being in his own world of discovery, awe and happiness with or without sounds…
Tim will have a hearing with the help of a Cochlear device by his first birthday… What a special gift to him, and his parents! The gift of hearing.