In a heartfelt letter published in the UK's Guardian newspaper last week, a mother addresses a child too young to understand the decision she must make: should she get cochlear implants for her?
She can't put the decision off: "The surgeons advise against implanting them after the age of four, as the likelihood of being able to interpret and make use of the sound is greatly diminished," the mother writes.
"Making a decision for someone else, especially when it will change their life, is almost impossible. We have gone backwards and forwards, thought long and hard. No parent would make this choice lightly.
"What if it doesn’t work, and we have put you through surgery for nothing? What if, as an adult, you feel you don’t fit into the deaf community as an implant user? What if the pressure to fit into the hearing world is too much for you?
"On the other side of the coin, what if we don’t consent to the implant, and then at school, after the 'window of opportunity' for spoken language has closed, you wish you had one?"
The letter highlights the controversy within the deaf community over the use of devices such as cochlear implants.
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