Two months ago, a drumbeat would not have gotten a reaction from Auguste Majkowski. The 3-year-old was born deaf.
“Learning your child is deaf is difficult. You just have to sink it in, cry it out and you have to move on for the sake of the child.”
When cochlear implants didn’t work, Auguste’s family traveled from Canada to Los Angeles to have an experimental surgery. Dr. Mark Krieger and his team at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles placed a tiny device deep in Auguste’s brain called an auditory brain stem implant.
“It basically brings sound waves from the outside world, converts them into electrical impulses and transmits them directly into the brain.”
August is one of ten children under the age of five who is taking part in the U.S. experiment.
His therapist, Dr. Laurie Eisenberg says he’s already responding to sound, but will need years of therapy.
“He has to go through the same steps that an infant would go through to learn how to hear and process speech.”
Auguste’s mom says therapy is the hardest part of his day, but it’s worth it if he can communicate better.
“If he ends up hearing really well or speaking, that’s a bonus.”