When Ez was first fitted with his hearing aids, we let him choose his path. He never wore hats or bands that forced his “ears” to stay in place. If he wanted them, he left them on, if he didn’t, he pulled them off. He pulled them off pretty much every minute for months. He pulled them off to listen to the laundry spin in the dryer. He pulled them off in the car. His brain was developing quickly and he seemed to have an instinctive ability to determine what noises were over stimulating (most of them) and which noises needed more focus. Even as a baby, he was in control of the sounds that he needed and wielded that power as if he knew its importance.
In contrast from sound, his visual acuteness was visible from day one. His eyes darted quickly from movement to movement. His observations were intense. He signed MILK at 4.5 months while breastfeeding. ASL signs were always there for him to access. A deliberate constant. He had no choice but to use them. Regardless, he still loved sound. He sought sound out. He rejoiced in new noises. Each one made him laugh and giggle. He tested sound as if it was a toy to be played with and not the critical identity that all the pamphlets and doctors had indicated would make him more valuable.
By age 4, he had decided that his hearing aids were a useful tool that he could control. Today at age 7, he rarely takes them off. Wearing them has always been 100% his choice. With or without them he is still profoundly Deaf. Where the line falls on his audiogram is not what creates his inner being. It does not change this path or tell us what makes him perfect.
This picture of his very first hearing aids was part of our journey but it wasn’t the end of the path. There will be always choices that he has to make and I look forward to watching him continue to decide how (and if) sound will play apart of his story. Either way, he is absolutely perfect and always has been.