Sight And Sound

Some of these posts attempting to explain some things are going to be a little difficult, as we don’t know definitively what exactly Liam is able to do – all that we have to go on is what we think based on observation.

Two of the questions about Liam that come up most frequently are about his ability to see or hear. The short answer to both is that we just don’t know for sure. However, there are some indications that he has some sort of ability to see. For example, when you shine a light in his face (either intentionally via flashlight, or semi-intentionally via camera) he looks away or closes his eyes. Part of the time when a light is put in his eyes will they dilate equally, and part of the time they won’t. He will momentarily look directly at you, but rarely will he track anything. His eyes have been the only indication since he was born (outside of the EEG) of possible seizure activity, and that is still present today. There are even times when his eyes will pulsate up and down in opposite directions of each other – but we are completely unsure if that is symbolic of anything other than the severity of the brain injury.

They say that the eyes are the window to the soul, and with Liam they are about the only window to anything that we have. We cherish when he is awake and absolutely love the connections that are made by looking into each other. It’s hard to know how far those connections go, but there is no doubt that they exist on some level.

The question of hearing is a lot more abstract and even harder to know than is sight. At least with vision, there is a positive identifier, but sound is different. We haven’t been able to tell for sure if there is any ability to hear at all. There are some causal relationships that are present, like a sometimes increased heartbeat when music is played, or a sometimes response to a snapping of fingers just out of eye sight – but those could both be because of vibrations as easily as they could be because of actual ability to hear. Physically, the outside ear looks as cute as any baby’s ear would look, but it often suffers a little bit of flattening due to Liam’s need to primarily lay on one side or the other. It even occasionally gets folded over, but it always rebounds nicely.


  1. kim scott says:

    You two are amazing, the writing that you do is outstanding, I have never been so touch by something like this. I look forward to your postings everyday, I pray for you every night. and truly enjoy the pictures.

  2. Good questions, and it’s so hard to tell! When you are out, the folks at the anchor center are incredible. It sounds like maybe there’s a little nystagmus going on, maybe some CVI? Cici has the same, the nystagmus (shaking of the eyes) is them trying to focus, kind of. It dependson tiredness, but it sounds like he see something! Maybe its like looking through swiss cheese. With the hearing, they might do a BAER test before you leave, but maybe he’s too young? Again, i will be therre tomorrow, i would love to meet you. Apparently we also have another mutual friend, too!

  3. What beautiful windows he has! I’m glad you’re getting to see them. I have been curious if you’ve had lots of music playing in the room for your own sanity. Maybe a little Move It! with Ezra? I thought you the other night listening to YMSB…

  4. Looking into those dear little eyes, I find myself mesmerized..teary….awed…at a loss. Oren, your words and writing are such a gift. I, too, am anxious each day to read your posts and look at the photos that make the heartbreaking yet valiant story so real. What a blessing, to be able to write so lovingly. Another thank you for sharing. Hugs to your parents from me. 🙂

    Jan Onieal

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