Jeffrey Mota—who was adopted from China three years ago and has severe hearing loss—is 12 years old and learning to communicate verbally for the first time. Last year, the boy received cochlear implants and began processing sounds once they were activated early this year. He works with two speech-language pathologists as he learns how to talk.
What cochlear implants do for children’s language performance is revolutionary. But the device can’t do all the work. It takes concentrated, sustained post-implant intervention to truly realize the miracle.
At school, Jeffrey works with Katie Barnett, an SLP with the Round Rock (Texas) Independent School District. Barnett began working with Jeffrey not long after he moved to the U.S. After school, SLP Jamie Putnam continues treatment to help him progress. In addition to learning to speak, he’s also learning English.
Shelley D. Hutchins is content editor/producer for the ASHA Leader. firstname.lastname@example.org.