Anyone been or known 100% deaf to become hearing?

I’ve just watched another “This person deaf since birth hearing for the first time”. While it’s very touching, it seems like some information is missing or not precisely true.

In this one, the woman refers to the person talking to her as sounding “high pitched” - if you have NEVER heard anything in your life, how would you know what high vs. low pitches sound like? Isn’t that a little like a person who has been completely blind their whole lives suddenly seeing and accurately saying that something looks a little light or dark? A little more yellow than blue?

If someone has been entirely unable to hear anything their whole lives long, when they ARE able to hear, it seems to me they would have a period of adjustment during which their brain would have to learn how to process sound and they would have to learn how to interpret it.

Does anyone here have any direct experience with this?

I lost my hearing twice for extended periods due to cerumen impaction. The first time I was so young I simply taught myself to read lips; no one figured out I couldn’t hear anything at all for at least a couple of years, we think.

Hearing something (again) for the first time on both occasions of restoration was a completely overwhelming experience, so intense that I find it nearly overwhelming just thinking about it. My reaction to the video was instantly so.

Yes, there is a period of adjustment, but it doesn’t take as long as you might think. You learn very quickly, because you are immersed in this unbelievably astonishingly rich environment, what sounds are made by what things, and your body adjusts rapidly to using sounds to determine locations.

I realize my situation is different from the one in the linked video, but there ya go.

Research Helen Keller.

Gawd bless the NHS.

Helen Keller was not deaf from birth and did not, as far as I know, regain her hearing.

Helen Keller was not deaf from birth and did not regain her hearing.

She would possibly have had a notion of pitch from having felt vibrations from lower frequency sound all her life. She may be experiencing an odd sensation being able to hear sounds well whilst simultaneously feeling them at the upper limit of what can be felt, and being surprised at how much is audible in this range. All pure speculation on my part.

Interview with the lady begins at 0:54, before then explains who filmed it and why:

It is unfathomable to me how she and other people who are 100% deaf from birth ever learn to speak. Really remarkable, I can’t even wrap my head around how its done.

It is suggested that people with cochlear implants do not hear what hearing people qualitatively hear. IIRC it’s more “robotic,” as told by people who went hearing>deaf>hearing with implant. The pitch range isn’t the same

There are people in the deaf community who vehemently oppose surgery like this. Blind people aren’t nearly as extreme, but then the surgical treatments are even less developed.

I might not wrap my head around specifically how they learn to speak, but I’m not surprised that it’s possible. There are blind people who can navigate, ride bikes, whatever.

She most likely heard before with hearing aids…but they didn’t get her into the hard of hearing range…20 years ago only people who had VERY little to no residual hearing got CIs…but nowadays people who get some benefit from HAs are being implanted

Just watched this lady on the telly hearing for the first time. What struck me was her speech. Despite not being able to hear, her ‘accent’ was indistinguishable from any other person from the same city/location.

How does that happen?

I stand corrected.

WAG, but she’ll have learned to position the shape of her mouth and tongue to correspond to visual signals and feedback from her family and friends. It’s likely that that her vowel sounds and whatnot will tend towards theirs.

She’s got working vocal chords, so I suppose she could feel the vibrational difference between low and high pitches through her skull, etc and then it’s not so much of a mystery when her ears start working.

Helen Keller could feel music though. This is an astonishing letter she wrote to the New York Symphony Orchestra in 1924

Similarly, we had a deaf player in my World of Warcraft guild several years ago; he was a fan of heavy metal, and even had particular bands that he preferred.

(Hijack: We required all players except him to have and use a particular audio communication program to participate in big group raids. :smiley: This was used so the group leader could give a run-down of each big battle that was about to happen, and give instructions on the fly during the fight. This guy was good enough that we trusted him to pay attention to what was going on, his position was that of a damage dealer so that’s usually less requiring of direct commands to the player by the group leader to do something specific, and I was a fast enough typist that during the initial “OK, this is what we’re gonna do” talk from the leader summary of the upcoming battle, I’d just transcribe it quickly into the group chat.)

My wife was a teacher of the deaf. She agrees with the pitch=vibration sensation.

It takes years and years of training. Some never progress nearly as much as the woman in the video.

When I worked with deaf kids, a couple of them had a habit of calling out, starting at the their lowest pitch and gliding up to their highest. They had no idea how loud they were, or how ear-splitting at the high end, but they could obviously feel the vibration in their bodies from what they were doing.