Experiencing declining hearing loss as a toddler, Theo’s family were concerned that he would never be able to communicate with them, especially after being 2 years old and not having spoken any true words. Theo received a cochlear implant and now loves to stream music and enjoys making friends at school! Read about Theo below:


“When Theo was born, we learned that he failed his newborn hearing screening on the left side. Six weeks later, we went to a follow-up to confirm he did ‘refer’ and we did the auditory brainstem response test (ABR) at 2 months old. Our fears were confirmed that he had a sensorineural hearing loss in his left ear and it was mild-moderately severe.

We jumped right into birth-3 services and he received his first hearing aid at 3-months-old. We spent the next two years doing visits with his teacher of the deaf and eventually received speech therapy, as he had a significant speech delay. 

Theo who is a toddler with hearing loss, in the hospital with a Kaci the Koala stuffed animal and his cochlear implant. More testing for our toddler’s hearing loss

At 2-years-old he had no true words and was just using approximations. This was our biggest worry and concern; would Theo ever be able to have a conversation with us? With intensive support, words started coming and we were thrilled. In June of 2021, his hearing loss seemed to shift. We did some more in-depth testing, which confirmed it seemed to be ‘severe sensorineural hearing loss.’

It was at that point that we sat down and thought long and hard about what to do next. Theo would be starting pre-k in the fall, and we knew we needed to give him the best access possible, which meant exploring a cochlear implant. We took many trips to NYU and completed the candidacy process. He received his left cochlear implant just after his 3rd birthday and was activated just before Christmas! What wonderful gifts!

A brand that offers many features and benefits

Theo who is a toddler with hearing loss, playing with building blocks in his house with his cochlear implant on his ear. Through our research, we opted for the Cochlear brand because it is pretty user-friendly and has some great iPhone® capabilities that make using it so easy. We love being able to stream1 his favorite songs right to his processor for a fun listening activity.

He loves listening to his favorite musical, Hamilton, through his sound processor. It is so nice to have access to that at my fingertips. We also loved the accessories, like the Aqua+ kit2

, which allowed him to have a great time at his summer camp without us worrying about things getting wet.

We have noticed a huge change in Theo’s overall speech and language development. He is now talking clearer (a change we have definitely noticed since activating the implant) and uses age-appropriate language. He recently started his second year of pre-k and he is doing so well. He is making friends and tells us about his day.

Theo loves to be outside and we go on a lot of adventures looking for new sounds and sights. We are so thankful that he is able to hear everything he needs to and is doing so well. His sound processor has really helped him become more confident in his language and engage more with people in ways we never saw before. We hope that he continues to enjoy school and make friends.”

If you have received a diagnosis of hearing loss in your toddler, early intervention is helpful. Learn more about how early intervention and cochlear implants can help your child hear their world.

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  1. For a full list of smartphone and app compatible devices, visit: www.cochlear.com/compatibility.
  2. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is water resistant to level IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This water protection means that the sound processor with the Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of 3 meters (9 ft and 9 in) for up to 2 hours. This water protection only applies when you use a Cochlear Standard Rechargeable Battery Module or Cochlear Compact Rechargeable Battery Module. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is water-resistant to level IP57 of the International Standard IEC60529 without the Aqua+ accessory for the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. The Kanso 2 Sound Processor with Aqua+ is dust and water resistant to level of IP68 of the International Standard IEC60529. This water protection rating means that the sound processor with the Aqua+ can be continuously submerged under water to a depth of up to 3 meters (9 feet and 9 inches) for up to 2 hours. The Aqua+ accessory should be used when participating in prolonged water activities.
  3. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Jesse Griego
Jesse Griego is the Social Media Specialist at Cochlear Americas. Jesse finds inspiration daily in the resiliency of our recipients and their hearing journeys. Jesse was born and raised in Colorado and in his free time enjoys being a wrestling and lacrosse coach, playing guitar and being with his hound dog.