When Kristina R. learned her son was born with hearing loss, she worried about his future and how he’d succeed in the world. Now she reflects in amazement on how far-off her worries were. Read how Dawson, bilateral Cochlear implant recipient, is succeeding in high school, including excelling in orchestra: 

“This is Dawson. He was born with moderate hearing loss and was fitted with hearing aids at 10 months old.

Dawson’s hearing got progressively worse, and he received his first Cochlear implant at age three and became a bilateral recipient just before his fifth birthday.

Like most mothers, there is so much fear involved with the process of walking your young child through the hearing loss journey.

I worried that he wouldn’t speak.

I worried that he would suffer socially.

I worried that he wouldn’t enjoy the simple pleasures in life such as music.

I worried that he wouldn’t have the opportunities both personally and professionally that the average kiddo would have.

But I was so wrong!

Dawson attended Carle Auditory Oral School in Champaign, Illinois from age 3-5. During that time, he was able to increase his speech leaps and bounds.

He started attending mainstream school in first grade and hasn’t slowed down since!

He has been blessed with an amazing support staff in the school system, and has worked very hard to keep his speech on track. He’ll be a sophomore in high school next year, and he is enjoying all the opportunities and connections high school has to offer. He is also a strong advocate for his needs in school with regard to his hearing loss.

One of Dawson’s favorite activities is participating in orchestra. He has played the violin since the fifth grade and just recently has added the cello to his list of accomplishments.

‘I can’t imagine a day that goes by without music in it. Music is life,’ says Dawson who is always plugged in to his personal audio cables and jamming out to some tunes.

His cochlear implants open up an amazing world of sound.

Another accessory which helped make the transition to high school a breeze was the Aqua+. With the Aqua+, Dawson was able to fully participate in the swimming unit in P.E. Being able to hear the teacher’s instruction and participate with the class was amazing for him.

Cochlear’s technology has changed our lives. Dawson has full access to speech and sounds, which make his life full of every imaginable opportunity. And don’t forget the sweet music! We look forward to seeing what the college years may bring his way.”

For more information to help your child with hearing loss, visit IWantYouToHear.com.

Renee Oehlerking

Renee Oehlerking is the Public Relations Manager at Cochlear Americas where she is responsible for the region’s public relations and consumer marketing social media. Renee enjoys uncovering, telling and showcasing the inspiring stories of hearing implant recipients. As a recent transplant to Denver, Colorado, Renee enjoys exploring all that the state has to offer outdoors.