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Your journey will not be a smooth ride. You will encounter moments of, “Why did I get a cochlear implant if I can’t understand everything.” My advice to you would be, just keep going and you’ll gain confidence. Keep working at “storing” sounds and voices so you’ll be able to understand more things as you move along in your journey. Don’t be afraid to reach out to fellow cochlear implant wearers because they will be more than happy to guide you throughout any obstacles or struggles you’re currently going through.  ~Emily, age 19

Emily as a college student
Emily at age 9

A freshman at Lenoir-Rhyne University, majoring in Public Relations & Human and Community Services, Emily enjoys her world of sound, and relies on Cued Speech to understand her teachers, friends and family.

Emily’s family first researched the possibility of cochlear implants for her when she was 3 years old, but because she has bilateral cochlear dysplasia, she was not deemed a candidate. Her family chose to learn and use Cued Speech to communicate with and educate their daughter. Six years later, as individuals with abnormal cochleae were being considered CI candidates, Emily and her family chose to give it a try. Prior to implantation, as a result of learning to communicate through Cued Speech, Emily already had age-appropriate language skills. Though she does not exclusively rely on her hearing to communicate, using her cochlear implant has made Emily more connected to her surroundings.