I Can Hear You Whisper

I Can Hear You Whisper

An Intimate Journey Through the Science of Sound and Language

Book - 2013
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"An investigation into the science of hearing, child language acquisition, neuroplasticity, brain development, and Deaf culture spurred by Lydia Denworth's discovery that her son couldn't hear her lullabies and the family's life-altering decision to give him a cochlear implant. Lydia Denworth's third son, Alex, was almost two when he was diagnosed with profound and progressive hearing loss. As both a science writer and the mother of young children, Denworth was steeped in messages about the importance of enrichment to the developing brain. She became determined to do whatever it took to allow Alex to hear and acquire spoken language, a quest that ultimately led to a controversial piece of emergent "superhero technology": the cochlear implant. In this engrossing journey to the frontiers of science, readers will learn why sound is so important to the developing brain, what new possibilities come from the latest research, and what exactly is going on when you focus your hearing at a cocktail party. Denworth goes beyond her personal experience with her son, interviewing the world's leading experts on child language development and hearing technology, leaders in the deaf community, and neuroscientists. I Can Hear You Whisper weaves together Alex's story with the tales of two scientific revolutions: the centuries-long quest to develop the cochlear implant and science's changing understanding of the brain's remarkable plasticity-all told against the sometimes-incendiary backdrop of identity politics and medical ethics "--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Dutton,, c2013
ISBN: 9780525953791
Branch Call Number: 617.89 DEN
Characteristics: 390 pages


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stephbrooklyn Sep 30, 2014

I Can Hear You Whisper is a thoroughly researched, beautifully written and very engaging account of the physiology of hearing, brain plasticity, deaf culture and a mother’s pursuit to both understand and help her son, Alex. Denworth provides a wonderful balance between the science and the complex history of deafness, on the one hand, and her own family’s struggle to grasp what it means to deal with a child’s severe hearing impairments, on the other. Denworth has assembled a fascinating and detailed account of the development of the Cochlear implant both from a scientific standpoint as well as the controversy it caused within the deaf community. Indeed, one of the many unexpected treasures in this book is a history of deaf culture and what it means to identify as deaf in a hearing world. Through superb storytelling and an excellent grasp of the underlying science, the book explores the many aspects of brain development and language. One of her many gifts as an author is to sift through enormous amounts of material (both written research and dozens of interviews) and assemble a clear, understandable and fascinating explanation of the science of language and how hearing affects so many aspects of how we learn. At its heart though this book is a wonderfully inspiring story of a mother’s love for her son and her quest to help him. And what’s a better read than a love story with a happy ending?

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