An adorable toddler letting out squeaky fits of laughter is pretty much guaranteed to make any reasonable human smile, but this video of 2-year-old Dylan Lipton Lesser's uncontrollable giggling just might bring you to tears, too. Turns out the little guy is laughing at something he's getting to discover loud and clear for the first time: the sound of his own voice.
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When Dylan was born on Valentine's Day 2012, he was 11 weeks premature, weighed only 3 pounds and 3 ounces, had brain bleeds and an infection, and was unable to breathe without assistance. Before Dylan’s parents, Shirley Lesser and India Lipton of Richmond, Virginia, could even hold their newborn son, a doctor warned them that it was likely he would be severely disabled. But Dylan has happily defied these early predictions and is steadily on his way to having a normal, healthy childhood — especially with the help of those new hearing aids he finds hilarious.
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While Dylan initially passed multiple hearing screenings as a baby, doctors discovered in October that he had developed moderate hearing loss. On Dec. 20, 2013, Dylan received hearing devices, and his reaction to wearing them for the first time — that big grin and infectious laughter — is priceless. With Dylan sitting on his mother India Lipton's lap, his other mother, Shirley Lesser, captured the cute scene on camera. “We got the hearing aids and the audiologist warned us that a lot of kids cry, so we’re not sure how he’s going to react,” Lesser tells Yahoo Shine. But Dylan, nicknamed “Chill Dyl” for his happy, relaxed, and easygoing demeanor, responded to hearing his moms' voices, as well as his own laughter, in a distinctly opposite fashion. The audiologist at Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University even admitted that she had never seen a kid behave like Dylan before.
Though many children who wear hearing aids have a hard time adjusting to the devices, Lesser says that from the start Dylan has recognized that they’re helping him. Since he started wearing them last month, Dylan said "hi" for the first time and has been playing the piano and savoring the sounds.
Like any proud parents, Lipton and Lesser are attempting to capture every gurgle, crawl, smile, and milestone. But what makes this particular video (which has racked up about 98,000 views on YouTube) even more meaningful in Dylan’s case is what he's already overcome in his short life thus far, including a staggering 15 brain surgeries. Lesser hopes that when he’s older he can look back and think, “I lived through that, I overcame that." Dylan joins countless other children who have gotten to experience hearing for the first time a little later than most kids. Such as when 3-year-old Grayson Clamp heard his father's voice last June thanks to an experimental electrical implant that directly stimulates his brain. The video went viral and has nearly 1.4 million views to date.
Dylan turns 2 in a couple of weeks and his family knows exactly what they're going to do to celebrate. Back when a doctor delivered Dylan’s “doom and gloom” diagnosis to his parents shortly after his birth, both Lipton and Lesser told him through tears that they'd be back with Dylan on his second birthday to have him shake the doctor's hand. Knowing Dylan, he'll probably be cracking up the whole time.
We love seeing someone's first time trying something new! Film your baby or child testing something out for the first time, and then share their reaction with us here.
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