Research shows that baby’s can distinguish their mother’s voice even in the womb, which is part of what makes this video so precious. Eight-month-old Jonathan has his cochlear implant turned on for the first time and reacts to hearing his mother’s voice. Get out your Kleenex, folks.
First the pacifier stops, then it falls out of his mouth. And then … that amazed grin. The video is actually two years old, but it’s easy to see why it’s making the Internet rounds this week.
According to Wikipedia, a cochlear implant is surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. Older children and adults who receive the device still need therapy to process sounds, but babies like Jonathon are more likely to develop speech at a normal rate.
Not everyone is getting weepy over the miracle of modern medicine, though. Over at Jezebel, there’s a pretty serious debate going between those that feel this was a sweet moment of family connectedness and those who feel it’s ableist. It’s an interesting discussion that’s worth noting.