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'I hate the word 'can't', I hate feeling like that - I like to be able to do things.'It was Lewis' trials with his speech which ultimately led him to make the decision to undergo a cochlear implant.

At Mary Hare, sign language isn't a requirement – while many pupils use it to communicate amongst themselves, lessons are taught through speech – a deliberate decision that is itself the subject of some controversy.'There can be a lot of politics around deaf culture,' admits the school's head teacher Peter Gale.

For Lewis it took time – two years after getting the implant he admits it is still a work in progress - and the documentary does not shy away from the upset and frustrations he experiences as he realises he will require months of intensive speech and language therapy and ongoing testing to see if he will ever hear a full range of sounds.'I remember the implant being switched on,' he recalls now. I realised that it was training my brain to hear but I was confused and nervous.

Some people think that the cochlear implant is going to work straight away after switch-on – you see this kind of thing on social media.

He was raised to be 'deaf and proud' and attends specialist deaf school Mary Hare, in Newbury, Berkshire.

But two years ago he decided to have the device fitted in his ear in the hope he would be able to hear his own name for the first time, admitting it was 'like he doesn't have one'.

It is not, he insists an issue that affects his pupils.


But it has granted his wish to hear the sound of his parents saying his name - and the sound of birdsong.One tweeted today: 'Eyes still puffy today from crying them out last night for the boy who heard birdsong - and his name - for the first time aged 15.' Speaking on the show, which followed three students at the school over the course of a year, Lewis explained he had been hesitant about having the implant fitted.They are a sensitive issue among some parts of the deaf community, who regard them as an unwelcome attempt to 'cure' deafness.'For me one of the main things is always having to say 'I'm deaf', when talking to hearing people.

I would like not to have to say that.'In particular he has always struggled with his speech: for many years, when in public environments like shops or transport hubs, Lewis largely communicated by handing over a note – the documentary shows him buying a rail ticket to his school by writing down his destination and handing it to the ticket office.'If I compare my speech to my friends I'd say their speech is way better than mine,' he admits.

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