June 20th, 2013
09:57 AM ET

Watch Now: 3-Year-Old Hears for the First Time

Grayson Clamp is the first child in the country to receive a special auditory brain stem implant that was previously only approved for adults.

Doctors at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine surgically implanted a microchip in his brain, allowing Grayson to hear his father speak for the first time. Doctors are now confident that he will be able to hear and speak like a normal child. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta shares details.

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soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Mari Anthony

    This is truly a miracle from God. Yes Doctors don't like to call it that, but God made man to study to be a Dr. So it is a MIRACLE if u don't like it that's to bad. Thx to GOD, Amen

    June 25, 2013 at 1:58 am | Reply
    • Moreen

      God made him so therefore also made him deaf. God made the Dr Study to fix his mess. You don't like it thats too bad.
      God also made you dumb..... and therefore gave the rest of us a laugh.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  2. Elizabeth Richardson, MS Early Intervention TOD, Baltimore Co. PS

    Grayson is using Cued Speech. He Cued "I hear it!" when he first heard sound. Grayson may or may not ever learn to talk, but he is learning to use English-his parent's native language and the language he will need to learn to read and write with. The use of Cued Speech will help him do this as well as the use of his new implant. Grayson may or may not know American Sign Language as well, many people who use Cued Speech do. But here he is using Cued Speech. If you would like to learn more about Cued Speech, please check out the National Cued Speech Association web site.

    June 24, 2013 at 6:57 am | Reply
  3. robwellsmc

    The system the Clamps use is Cued Speech. For more information about this mode of communication that the Clamps use with Grayson, go to http://cuedspeech.org/ and our videos page, all videos are captioned here – http://www.cuedspeech.org/connect/cued-speech-videos. YouTube is a great source of Cued Speech videos. The Clamps use Cued Speech for their son, Grayson.

    In summing it up, Cued Speech is a visual mode of communication in which mouth movements of speech combine with “cues” to make the sounds (phonemes) of traditional spoken languages look different. Cueing allows users who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have language / communication disorders to access the basic, fundamental properties of spoken languages through the use of vision.

    June 23, 2013 at 12:42 am | Reply
  4. ssegal2013

    normal is a needle in a haystack. we all have our deficiencies, whether they're medically classified or not. yes, i have a hearing loss, just like grayson. does that make me abnormal? nnnnope.

    June 23, 2013 at 12:15 am | Reply
  5. Sharon DeVito

    It is a big issue. There are thousands of Deaf people who view themselves as "normal". Perhaps to them hearing people as not normal.

    June 22, 2013 at 10:57 am | Reply
  6. KimMarie

    I can't believed you all!!! Why are you trying to fix us, deaf people??? We are happy the way we are and we don't give a fuck about becoming hearing because we never hear any music or anything ,so we are NOT missing out anything. We are happy and many of my deaf friends who have the implants have told me they hate them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lots of information have been taken out...for an examples, they with the implants are NOT allowed to go on scuba diving, bungee, get shocks from time to time, mold develops in the skull, and so many more! The doctors hide the facts and only earn money and fix us. So pathetic! Leave us alone and let us be!!!

    June 21, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  7. StanUbeki

    I'm a musician It took Grayson about 5 seconds to associate the movement of his father's lips with the sensation he was having. His little chakras were blown wide open. That bolt of awareness is better than any drug or thrill you can give yourself. I remember seeing a similar thing with a teenage girl. They introduced her to music for the first time, the Beatles, All You Need Is Love. People started talking over it asking her questions and she clearly signaled them to "shut up, I'm listening to this"! The look of amazement on her face will stay in my mind forever. Yes it is wonderful science, but there is some God in there too.

    June 21, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • HusseinBaidarJr.

      wow! All you need is love, best part!

      July 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  8. konetzkifamily

    I simply took joy in watching the little guy's face as he hears for the first time and was so caught up in it, that I didn't even pay attention to what anyone was saying. What a special moment and may his life be blessed with many more like it.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:38 am | Reply
  9. Emily Olds

    Miracle? No....just great science. Congratulations to Grayson, his doctors, and his family!

    June 21, 2013 at 6:33 am | Reply
    • Nicole

      You only heard this one part of his story. What has not been reported is what took place in getting up to the implant being put in then activated. It was science, but the miraculous part is how God wove together a perfect plan with perfect timing for each event that ultimately led us to this point. Jesus is still the ultimate healer. This all started with a word spoken by him to me through James 1:27 (among others).

      June 22, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  10. Benjamin Jeremiah

    What a scientific miracle! A big congrat to him and his family.

    June 21, 2013 at 6:02 am | Reply
  11. Sandra

    How about saying..."and speak like a hearing child." Okay? Why don't you make that change in your text please, it's simple to rectify. Thanks

    June 20, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  12. susana raquel alday


    June 20, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  13. hailey

    Drama going round and round is the world

    June 20, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  14. Ana Correia

    É pura ignorancia da parte dele ou deles na utilização das palavras certas: criança surda e criança ouvinte. Ok? Ok. C.

    June 20, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  15. lindsey

    I'm intrigued by the kind of signing you are doing. Is that cued speech?

    June 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Reply
    • Rachel

      Yes, I'm pretty sure it is cued speech. For those reading this who haven't heard of it before, cued speech uses hand signals/signs near the mouth and neck to distinguish between different sounds while speaking, which allows someone who is deaf or hoh to read their lips with more accuracy.

      June 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Reply
    • Nicole

      Yes. I hope Grayson's story promotes the use of Cued Speech more.

      June 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Reply
    • robwellsmc

      Yep, yes, it's Cued Speech. : )

      June 23, 2013 at 12:40 am | Reply
  16. donna

    why don't they call it what it certainly appears to be, a cochlear implant?

    June 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • TeamCNNCNN

      Hi, Donna,
      The Cochlear implant did not work for little Grayson because of nerve damage issues with which he was born. His is a new solution in trials for children, though used in adults.

      Tune in to learn more!
      Happy First Day of Summer!
      CNN Viewer Communications

      June 21, 2013 at 7:22 am | Reply
    • Inosolan

      He has a cochlear implant, but that's not what worked in this case. They even SAY in the video that he was fitted with one but it didn't work given there was no nerve activity to take the information from the cochlear implant to the brain. Cochlear implants are within the ear cavity itself, not the brain.

      June 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • Allyson

      Because it is not a cochlear implant. A cochlear implant takes sound and makes it perceivable in the inner ear in order to be sent to the brain. However, little Grayson does not have the nerves in his inner ear that would be needed for a cochlear implant to work. This new procedure, which has only been used a couple of times, has nothing to do with the ear. This device perceives sound directly at the brain! 🙂

      June 22, 2013 at 10:04 am | Reply
  17. SomeoneinPA

    I get so tired of some people and worrying if things are politically correct. The fact is, this child has been deaf to this point. I'm sure deaf is a poor term too and there is some long, drawn out, 30 letter politically correct word for it but it's still the same thing. It's like being politically correct when someone is retarded. No, no one likes that word either - or that a child is in "special ed" but the fact is, you can make all the words pretty sounding but they are still the same thing. This child in this article will now, yes, hopefully hear like a "normal" child. Oh but by all means, lets now dissect and define "normal". This crap gets really old. My great uncle was "deaf and dumb" - my great-grandmother's (his mother) words. That's what they were called. It is what it is.

    June 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  18. Ruth Parsons

    I appreciate you making that distinction jlisham. I, too, was put off by the term "normal" used in the article.

    June 20, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  19. jlisham

    I take issue with Grayson being referred to as anything but an normal child. Poor phrasing by this reporter since normal implies everyone else is the nearly the same. I think it more likely that the reporter meant to say that he'll be able to hear and speak like other children born with normal hearing.

    Perhaps it's a small distinction but I don't see my nieces – who were also born with hearing deficits – as anything but normal and to refer to them as anything but seems derogatory.

    June 20, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • Michael Huggins

      "I take issue with Grayson being referred to as anything but an normal child."

      It's not normal to be deaf. And it's more than a little strange that any normal person wouldn't realize that.

      June 20, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Reply
      • Frog

        It is not normal to be hearing either. What is normal? To you, it may be normal for you because there are common and "feel" normal. I guaranteed you, it will be normal to others because they are living differently lives than others, me, and yourself. They used to live that way or this way. Normal is not good word to use, really.

        June 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • angel

      Why do you "take issue" when in fact when you cannot hear it is not normal ... not ... natural.
      Definition: normal Biology – "Functioning or occurring in a natural way; lacking observable abnormalities or deficiencies."

      Grayson has a deficiency. And I'm sorry that your nieces also have hearing deficits.

      There is no reason to be offended nor the references used derogatory.
      It's fact.

      June 20, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Reply
    • Matt

      I take issue with morons who can't get over being politically correct pansies for long enough to realize that this is a great story and everybody is happy for the kid. But no, somebody used the term "normal" which is not the politically correct state-approved word and now that is the big issue here. Liberalism is a mental disease.

      June 21, 2013 at 11:18 am | Reply
      • Inosolan

        LOL liberalism is a disease, and yet here you are saying something utterly contradictory. "Geez! Can't you guys just enjoy a feel good story! On an unrelated note, f*** those who are different from myself, including the deaf. Those abnormal bastards." Hmm. Yes. That makes logical and rational sense. Forgive me if your anger issues and use of scare phrases don't convince me of your point.

        June 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
  20. Matthew

    Best wishes for Grayson and his family. Science for the win!

    June 20, 2013 at 11:41 am | Reply

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