U.S. National Institutes of Health

El Deafo, Cece Bell, 2014

Text and Illustrations copyright (c) 2014 Cece Bell. Used with the permission of Express Permissions on behalf of Amulet Books, an imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York. All rights reserved.

In the graphic memoir El Deafo, author and artist Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her experiences wearing a hearing aid using illustrated rabbit characters.

After battling spinal meningitis at the age of four, Bell lost her hearing and had to wear an awkward Phonic Ear hearing aid. The hearing aid hung on her chest and had wires that ran to her ears.

Bell discovers that her Phonic Ear allows her to hear things she shouldn’t, such as her teacher going to the bathroom. Bell considers this a superpower and dubs herself “El Deafo,” which helps her cope with reality and learn new ways to connect with people.

For more information about hearing problems in children, visit MedlinePlus.