Hearing Our Way: Spring 2018

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The magazine for kids and teens with hearing loss I NTO S WING G 2 018 SPR IN

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n a g Re TE H E R S IS T U O K EC ! A ND C H RO G R A M P L A P PEN

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Contents 4 Things We Love

Hi from Mel!

6 O vercoming Obstacles

10 Fun & Games 11 Mark it

with an E

Contributors Melanie Paticoff Grossman • Editor in Chief Magazine Design • N-KCreative.com Overcoming Obstacles • Regan Mark it with an E • Evelyn Books We Love • Eva With special thanks to all of our featured H W friends

www.HearingOurWay.com info@hearingourway.com PO Box 13, Greenlawn, New York 11740 Volume 5, No. 1 ©2018 Sophie’s Tales, LLC. All rights reserved. Hearing Our Way is published quarterly and is a publication of Sophie’s Tales, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. See p.11 for more information about subscriptions for homes, schools, and offices or visit www.HearingOurWay.com. For promotional opportunities, change of address, or other customer service, contact info@hearingourway.com. • All comments and suggestions received by Hearing Our Way become the sole property of Hearing Our Way and may be used without compensation or acknowledgment. Hearing Our Way disclaims liability for any losses or damages that may result from using information in this magazine. • Inquire today about sponsorship and advertising opportunities. Contact Info@HearingOurWay.com.


Dear Readers,

w it’s time to ndled up all winter, but no bu en be ’ve We ! re he is Spring fever g you to get outdoors t ca ll of the wild tellin tha ar he u yo Do g! rin sp es s swing into son, but no monkey busin sea w ne the of s nd sou d an and play? Enjoy the sights ds, Words. e these, see Words, Wor lik s om idi re mo r Fo l! oo during sch , we feature Rega n, In Overcomi ng Obst acles rsity and a Presidential a freshman at Harvard Unive ELL who has bilateral n, ga Re t. en ipi rec n llio da Scholar Me ONVENTION vocate for herself and ad g on str a is , nts pla im r cochlea at to help families and speaks others—she wrote a book fortunate enough to meet conventions. In fact, I was Alexander Graham Bell Regan a few years ago at an gan says, “AG Bell has Association convention. Re long as I can remember. been a part of my life as A | JUNE 28- 30, 2018 SCOTTSDALE, ARIZON rces and attended ou res le ab alu inv d ine ga My family Learn more at: in the children’s s wa agbellconvention.com I e tim the m fro ns conventio nels and participating program to serving on pa out the next in the Exhibit Hall.” Check summer! convention coming up this be s spring? In De ar So ph ie , Ga thi try to ty ivi act ve ati cre s in Irish fiddle Are you looking for a new -year-old girl who compete 12 a , die Bri . art of e lov writes to us about his ays, Evelyn gives us a new ie's spotlight. As alw ph so in ed tur competitions, is fea treat to bake in it ! so get out and enjoy It’s a zoo out there…



Mel Paticoff Grossman Editor in Chief

and maltipoo, Sophie

Look for these symbols throughout the magazine for special tips !

Hearing – Info about hearing aids, cochlear implants, and listening devices Talking – Tips for speech and language Self-Advocacy – Ideas for sharing your hearing loss story with others

Did you receive this issue from a friend, school, or office? Sign up for your own subscription to continue receiving Hearing Our Way ! www.hearingourway.com


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INSPIrati n Stati n

“Choosing kindness is just as easy as smiling.”

ve: Look We L t Happayn AuFdeitoery Verbal Therapist, naegeradeddutahtee

—Jacob Tremblay

s Elizabeth, her first day a r with your brain, r fo s e o h s f o perfect pair or. Her motto is “you hea t natomy and school instruc rs,” so when she found ear a she knew she , ea not with your hoes sold as separate pairs n she s e brain anatomy y both and mix & match! Wh r students, u he b o o t t ’ would have chool shoes s f o y a d t rs ‘fi d ‘coolest’ showed off her e was both the ‘dorkiest’ an sh they thought ditory weig is an Au z n e s o R h instructor! t e Elizab with

rks pist who wo ra e rapy. h T l a rb e V d via telethe rl o w e h t d n u families aro ebsite her at her w d n fi n a c u o Y t alTherapy.ne AuditoryVerb

In the hit movie Wonder, based on the best-selling book of the same name, Jacob Tremblay stars as Auggie Pullman, a 10-year-old boy with Treacher Collins Syndrome. The syndrome causes facial abnormalities of the eyes, ears, cheekbones, and chin. In fact, hearing loss can be one of the complications, and a bone anchored hearing aid can help people with this syndrome. Jacob loved the movie’s catchphrase “Choose Kindness” as well as its message to look past a person’s differences to really get to know them.

kshelf ing loss o o B ’s a v E ar ve: ing! She has he loss r lets hearing ways loved read

L books Woled girl from New Jersey who has al iver and wireless system, she neveokshelf. Eva is a 10-ybueat r-with the help of her Roger Focustereboceok? Eva invites you to explore her bo next favori in her left ear, discover your to y d ea R ! ck ll by Chris Csoylfer e p S hold her ba g in h is nta ories: ThepeW t t book in this fa eir dad dies, S rs f fi e o h t d is n a ll L gS er th The ries: The Wishin , are twins. Aft ®

x The Land of Sto characters, Conner and Ale lly when they get stuck in ia n—espec h fairy tales, ries. The ma


ug se dow turned upside le book! As they journey thro ey discover not re a s ve li ir e h a t Th other’s fairy t y he Evil Queen. in their grandm nt characters, including t eir own family’s secrets! M th ere they meet diff tales are related, but also ked at the traditional fairy y o ir lo only how all fa er was Conner because he iry tales and the truth ct fa favorite chara nt point of view. If you like re e tale with a diff is is the book for you ! h behind them, t

Sibling sp t Audrey, d n a , c a a Is , nd e way of fun ! Meet Raymo aring loss get in th siblings from Virgin

ia who never let he

c, chlear implants. Isaa co l ra te la bi ve ha th rey, 6, bo and to swim, rock climb, Raymond, 13, and Aud ve lo gs in bl si e es Th . ing loss 11, does not have hear ther. play basketball toge r Isaac always Raymond: My brothe beach ol and helped me at the po rproof case for before I got the wate . Even though my cochlear implants her, I feel like he he’s my younger brot t. We both help watches over me a bi n she was little, with Audrey, too. Whe test Audrey’s I would help my mom ay with her to Ling 6 sounds and pl practice listening. t cochlear Isaac: I know a lot abou ings. I can even help charge my sibl ! implants thanks to ready in the morning em th t ge d an t gh off them at ni us, I help Audrey take ng hi tc wa is a dm an If my gr arge the in the dry kit, and ch em th t pu , ts an pl her im es wished s younger, I sometim wa I n he W s. ie er tt ba en took ts like my siblings. I ev I had cochlear implan Raymond’s monkey the toy implants from y ied taping them to m stuffed animal and tr would be like! ears to see what it me much fun. They help so e ar ey Th ! rs I he Audrey: I love my brot , and they play with me. I love my family, and plants with my cochlear im always. want to be with them fight, mily. Sometimes we fa r la gu re a st ju e ar eps changing lives, ke One Last Word: We gy lo no ch te at th do! We hope ilies with kids with m just like any siblings fa l al nt wa e W s. ie h disabilit especially for kids wit ore connected. hearing loss to feel m e, Tied to Hom ign t u o b a e r me.des earn mo gs’ tees? L e 10 ! www.tiedtoho n li ib s e h t ag Like store, on p their mom’s

are ole family. Sh h w e th f o is part y.com Hearing loss h info @ hearingourwa it w your story

W rds, W rds, W rds Monkeying Around

Language can be tricky, especially idioms, which are groups of words or expressions that mean something different than what they say. You might hear the idiom monkeying around and think it has to do with chimpanzees, orangutans, and baboons… nope! Monkeying around is an idiom that means someone is playing around, wasting time, or acting distracted from what they should be doing. Like this: “Kids, stop monkeying around outside and come do your homework!”


ng vercomi


f Stories o Inspiring You ! e ik L s Teen d n a s id K

Regan’s Faves H ACTIVITIES Watching documentaries Baking Reading

H MUSIC Coldplay


H FAVORITE FOODS Almond butter Cookies Mangoes Peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream

H SPORTS Cross Country Lacrosse

H PLACES My local coffee shop in Frankenmuth, Michigan Paris, France Venice, Italy


H W does Regan hear? With a lacrosse stick in one hand, a book in the other, and two cochlear implants!

All About Me

Hi, I’m Regan, and I am 19-years-old. I’m originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, but now I live in Boston, Massachusetts where I’m a freshman at Harvard University!

Hearing My Way

When I was born, there was no mandatory newborn hearing screening. It wasn’t until I was 9-months-old that my parents began to suspect I might have hearing loss. I was taken to many doctors until finally when I was 13-months-old, I was diagnosed with a severe to profound bilateral hearing loss. My parents didn’t know anything about raising a child with hearing loss, but they knew they wanted to set me up with the best chance for success in the hearing world. I received hearing aids after I was diagnosed and progressed very well with them. My parents’ main goal was to provide me with access to the most sound possible, so when I was 20-months-old I received my first cochlear implant. They learned that there is a prime window of language development and that the cochlear implant could provide my brain with access to sound and language. I received my second cochlear implant in second grade.

Overcoming Obstacles

Living with hearing loss can present challenging situations—sometimes even on a daily basis. In noisy restaurants it can be difficult to hear, and at times I miss things in class. I believe that it’s how you deal with these challenges that determines how successful you are. I think the key to success is trying to embrace every obstacle with a can-do attitude and positive mindset.

Listening to the Waves

Growing up, my family and I got involved with hearing loss outreach efforts together. When I started meeting families who were contemplating cochlear implant surgery for their children, I realized that many parents do not know what to expect and don’t always understand how the cochlear implant can change their lives. My

show Regan and her mom

off her book.

own parents also felt this way, and meeting a teenager with cochlear implants who was very successful helped them to decide to move forward with surgery for me. I decided to write a book that would serve families by detailing my own life experiences and writing about how having cochlear implants has allowed me to live in the hearing world to the fullest. I have been able to meet so many families and have heard the book has been a valuable tool for parents and that children and teens enjoy reading about someone who has gone through the same challenges they have. ListeningToTheWaves.com

Sister, Sister

My sister Ryan is almost four years younger than me, yet we are very close. Growing up, Ryan was always my translator in the swimming pool (before waterproof cochlear implants existed!) and always looked out for me in noisy situations. As cliche as it sounds, I think of her as my trusty sidekick, and I am so grateful for her constant support. Jump to page 9 to learn more about Ryan’s new Hearing Pen Pal Program.→

Harvard Happiness

I visited Harvard a few years ago and remember loving the campus and atmosphere. I decided to apply Early Action, and I got in! My advice to other students in the college process is to give extra focus to your personal statement.

This is your chance to present admissions officers with who you are. Conveying personal qualities and future aspirations through the essay is key to the success of your application. I chose to include my hearing loss in my essay because it was an integral component of the topic I was writing about. Include your hearing loss if it is relevant to your essay, but don’t just squeeze it in. Once at school, your self-advocacy skills are key. I advocate for myself through working with the Office of Accessible Education to plan my accommodations. I never shy away from ensuring that my needs are met.

I felt motivated to follow in their footsteps to help improve our country. I plan to study economics and psychology and hope to work in the public sector devising policy or working for a nonprofit. My activism efforts throughout my life have demonstrated to me the ability that I have to make a difference, and I aim to continue to do so through my career and life.

Part of Me

While there are days that I know my life would be much simpler without hearing loss, I know Regan with her cochlear implant. that it is a fundamental part of who I am, which I wouldn’t change for anything. In fact, hearing loss has been a benefit to my life in many ways! First, in noisy situations when I am trying to concentrate, turning off my implant is a simple solution Presidential Scholar to avoid auditory distractions. Second, I believe my hearing loss has allowed In 2017, I was awarded the prestigious Presidential Scholar me to grow very close to my family. Years of speech therapy appointments Medallion and attended a weekend reception in Washington, and at-home practice has brought us closer and taught us that together, we D.C. There, I participated in inspiring activities such as visiting can overcome any challenge. Finally, my hearing loss has helped me to have a different outlook on life. When I meet new people, I try to look beyond the the White House, meeting U.S. government officials, and surface level, never judge a book by its cover, and know that we all have creating lasting friendships with other scholars from across the challenges we have faced. country. After learning about different careers in public service,

Be on our next cover! info@hearingourway.com

I want you to hear your friend asking to come play. Kanso® is a new way of hearing with a Cochlear Implant. It’s an off-the-ear sound processor designed to be comfortable and easy to use while providing your child’s best hearing experience. Call 1 866 922 9211, or visit IWantYoutoHear.com for more information. ©Cochlear Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Hear now. And always and other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of Cochlear Limited. CAM-MK-PR-313 ISS1 MAR17


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Check out phonak.com/kids to learn more. Or ask your audiologist for a demonstration. * 16 hours of hearing with 10 hours of Roger™ use or audio streaming © 2018 Sonova USA Inc. All rights reserved. 156AD


PACS PALS • • • Meet Mitch !

An exciting new PEN PAL PROGRAM presented by Ryan Brady with Hearing Our Way ! Pen Pal: A friend made by sending and receiving letters. Pen pals usually live far away and have not met each other in person.

and Kids to connect kids PP HI d te ar st I ! Hi, I’m Ryan rld and to help loss around the wo teens with hearing skills in a ading and writing re r ei th e tic ac pr them helped my I know how much it y. wa ng gi ga en d share fun an th hearing loss and wi ds ki r he ot t ee sister to m rs. Through periences with othe her own unique ex make special kids and teens can y an m pe ho I , PP HI periencing pport from peers ex su d fin d an ns tio connec e them ! hearing loss just lik Obstacles (featured in Overcoming n ga Re ter sis er old r by he Ryan, 15, was inspired s with hearing loss. pen pal program for kid a ate cre to 6), ge pa on

Hi Julia, Thanks for sending me a let ter. I am so excited to make a friend that also has hearing loss. My favorite class is English because I can read and write stories. Maybe I can send you one sometime. My favorite food is tacos, but I also like pizza. I have a fish name d Bubbles, but I want a dog! I live in West Vir ginia. I had fun today because I went to th e park. I have 2 cochlear implants. I am also in 3rd grade. From, Charlie

Pen pals will receive an introductory letter from Ryan and an assigned pen pal. Sign up is free for Hearing Our Way readers at www.HIPPkids.com

My dream career

I have a profound hearing loss and wear bilateral cochlear implants. I attended Child’s Voice, a school for the deaf in Chicago that gave me the tools to hear and talk. Because of the huge impact the school had on my life, I’ve decided that I want to be a teacher of the deaf so that I can help children like me learn to listen and speak and give back to the community that did so much for me. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in elementary education, I am now pursuing my Master’s of Science in Deaf Education (M.S.D.E.) at Washington University’s PACS program. I hope that I can be a role model for children with hearing loss so that they see it is possible to be a successful adult in spite of the challenges they face!

My Best Advice

My number one piece of advice that I’ve learned as an adult is never be afraid to advocate for yourself. Most people don’t realize the kinds of challenges that come with having hearing loss, and it’s up to us to speak up not only for ourselves, but also for those who follow in our footsteps. It never hurts to educate someone on what it means to have hearing loss, and I’ve found that most people are willing and even grateful to learn something new!

My Role Model

My mom has always been a role model for me. From the moment she found out that I was deaf, she has done everything she can to give me the opportunities to succeed in life. She has advocated for me on numerous occasions and has always encouraged me to pursue my passions and dreams. I hope one day I can be as wonderful a parent as she is!

Learn more about Mitch’s graduate program in deaf education and audiology:



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Dear Sophie, Hi! My name is Gabe, I’m 11-years-old in 6th grade. I live in New York with my amazing parents and dog named Bear. When I was 5-years-old, my pediatrician found a cholesteatoma in my right ear, an extra skin growth that can grow and destroy the bones in the middle ear. I had surgery to remove it, and a year later, I had another surgery to put a titanium implant in my ear. It replaced two of my three middle ear bones. I use a Phonak CROS® hearing aid and an FM system in school. My speech-language pathologist, Fara Augustover from Island Wide Speech, helps me learn to listen, troubleshoot my hearing aid, and talk to people about my hearing loss.

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My special talent is art. I love that it helps me focus and keeps me calm. In art class at Long Island Art Academy, I used charcoal pencils to draw a picture of Noivern, a Pokemon® character who has big ears that use sound waves to hear in battle. That made me think of my hearing aid that amplifies sound waves to help me hear. I even added hearing aids to my drawing of Noivern to make it more like me. Even though I’ve had 3 surgeries, I never let it get me down. I always remember that it all happened to help me hear. It has made me a stronger person and a more understanding friend. I hope other kids read my story and learn to never give up.


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#HearingLossMoment “Did I leave my left ear on the nightstand?”

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David says, “I had such a super busy day that I realized I forgot to put my left cochlear implant on (which never happens!). I went most of the day thinking, why does everything sound ‘off’?”


t, w Send in your ar photos to

gour way.com info@hearin the next issue . to be featured in


David B. Cluff

poetry or

Have you ever had a #hearinglossmoment? Have you ever asked someone to look for your ‘ears’? Send in your story to info@hearingourway.com!

Put Me in the Zoo Panda Cupcakes INGREDIENTS

• Cake mix (homemade or store bought) • White Frosting (homemade or store bought) • Decorating (sanding) sugar • Chocolate chips • White chocolate • Chocolate sprinkles


1. Bake cupcakes according to your

favorite recipe or box mix. 2. After your cupcakes cool, cover them in white frosting. 3. Dip your cupcake in a bowl of sanding sugar.

4. Take two chocolate chips and place them on the top sides for the ears. 5. Take two more chocolate chips, and insert them upside down just above the middle of the cupcake for the eyes. 6. Finally, take a chip and place it in the middle sideways for the nose. 7. Melt the white chocolate and use it to make a dot on each chocolate chip eye. 8. Melt chocolate chips and use it to make the pupils of the eyes. 9. Lastly, use chocolate sprinkles to make the mouth. Use the picture for help along the way!

Drew loves reading Hearing Our Way and you will, too! aring loss “Every child wit h he ine !“ az shou ld have this mag is the

aring Our Way An annual subscription to He cher, or audiologist! tea perfect gift for any student, Bulk pricing is available Prices start at $19.99/year. doctors offices! for schools, hospitals, and

le worl dw ide. Hearing Our Way is avail ab ay.com Subscribe NOW : HearingOurW

Award-Winning Book Series

ECT GIFT THE PEdaRyFs, birthdays, , for holi implant surgery cochlears, students, and friend ger siblings! youn

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For free shipping, use code: hearingourway


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sophie's spotlight on b ridie

Hearing Our Way is reaching over 10,000 kids and teens in 35 countries!

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Sophie loves shining a spotlight on amazing kids with hearing loss around the world. Bridie’s mom wanted to share her story with us. To shine a spotlight on someone you know, write to us at info@hearingourway.com!

Bridie (an Irish nickname for Bridget), is a 12-year-old with hearing aids from Richmond, Virginia. When Bridie was six, she begged Santa for a violin for Christmas. After three years of lessons, she discovered Irish fiddling, a fun twist on violin that honors her heritage. Bridie practices six hours each week, competes in Irish Fiddle competitions, and plays violin with the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra. Bridie feels no different than any other kid trying to learn an instrument. She enjoys meeting other kids with hearing loss and even visited Virginia Commonwealth University’s T.A.L.K. program to introduce younger children to the violin. Playing live competitions can be challenging. Bridie once made a mistake in a competition and had to start from the beginning. She learned that anything can happen during a live performance, and you have to be prepared. Bridie’s mom says, “Bridget doesn’t come from a musical family. In fact, no one in our family can play or read music. Violin is among the most difficult instruments for someone with hearing loss to work with, and yet she is drawn to it.”



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