A Mom Shares the “Magical Moment” Her 2 Deaf Sons Could Hear for the First Time

A mother documented the arduous journey of raising 2 sons with disabilities on social media. Her brave decision to share her experience to help other families in similar situations is a genuine source of inspiration. Moreover, this account shows that even amidst challenging circumstances, heartwarming moments can be found.

The unexpected discovery

The unexpected happened to an Ohio couple when they discovered that not just one but both of their children were born with profound hearing loss despite having no family history of it. Felicia Aquilo and her husband, Steve, have 2 sons, Silas, 5, and Isaiah, 2. As hearing parents, communication in their family involves both ASL (American Sign Language) and spoken language, with both boys having cochlear implants.

Felicia recalls the shock they felt upon discovering Silas’s hearing loss, as they had no idea it was possible. They assumed it could have been due to fluid, but when he didn’t pass his hearing screening, they realized it was something more serious.

ASL as a means to adapt to the situation

Following Silas’s initial screening, the family went to an audiologist for further testing and received confirmation that his hearing loss was profound and permanent. Felicia described going through a grieving process after receiving this diagnosis, as she didn’t know what communication with her son or his life would be like. At the time, she also had no knowledge of deaf culture or community.

3 years later, Felicia and Steve welcomed their second son, Isaiah, who was also born with severe to profound hearing loss. While Isaiah has limited access to certain frequencies without hearing devices, he wouldn’t be able to develop spoken language without them. The mother explained that it took her about 6 months to fully embrace ASL after Silas was born, and they began using signs with him at just 7 months old, starting with “mom” and “milk.”

Cochlear implants and that magical moment

The decision to try cochlear implants for their sons was difficult for Felicia and Steve. Initially, they wanted to wait and let their boys decide for themselves. Still, after consulting with professionals, they realized that getting the implants as early as possible would give their sons the best chance at developing spoken language. They believed that giving their children access to sound and ASL would allow them to decide on their preferred communication method as they age.

Silas received his implant at 18 months old, while Isaiah got his at 10 months. Felicia describes the moment when her sons were able to hear for the first time as “purely magic.”

A supportive big brother

Felicia became emotional as she shared how she wasn’t sure if her children would ever be able to hear her say, “I love you,” or use their voices. The mom also talked about the beautiful bond her sons share.

Silas was excited when he learned that Isaiah would have cochlear implants just like him. He began to take on the responsibility of ensuring his little brother’s processors were on and functioning properly. Felicia is proud to see her sons communicate and support each other in this way.

Spreading awareness

Sharing her family’s journey on social media is a great way to help other families who may be going through a similar experience.

“I know that even if I’m helping one person by sharing our experiences, I’m doing something good. If it weren’t for those families that were doing the same thing, I don’t know how I would’ve managed,” the mom said.

It’s heartening to hear how Silas has become such a great advocate for his younger brother and is helping him navigate the world of communication. The support of the deaf community and the availability of resources, such as cochlear implants, have made it possible for children like Silas and Isaiah to have access to sound and spoken language, giving them more opportunities for success and a brighter future.


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