Hearing Our Way: Winter 2017

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The magazine for kids and teens with hearing loss NTE NG WI I N N I W

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Contents 4 Things We Love

Hi from Mel!

6 Overcoming Obstacles

8 Mark it

with an E

10 Fun & Games

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

Dear Readers,

we’ve bought all d what we’re thankful for, sai ’ve We n! ai ag re he Holidays are pics in PyeongChang r DVRs to the Winter Olym ou set to e tim it’s w no d our gifts, an for gold. to see incredible athletes go e, a 17-year-old on page 6, we feature Jorg les ac st Ob ng mi co er Ov in Speaking of gold, his technology training te and national awards for sta n wo o wh tar ers sup school self-advocacy en it comes to helping his wh de itu att g nin win a s ha self! video. Wow! Jorge always Sou nd fie ld Sys tem s by him mic na Dy 24 up g tin set s an great community, even when it me To Guide so you can be a wHo e’s rg Jo h wit re mo On page 9, we have even . advocate at your school, too n, , and with our newest colum ok bo w ne a h wit up rl cu to In this issue, Winter is the perfect time ow which one to grab next. kn ays alw l u’l yo 4, ge pa perfect Eva’s Bookshelf on Science Guy. She says it’s the the e Ny l Bil by ses niu Ge Eva reviews Jack and the learning, too. series for mystery, fun, and , featured in ence and nature-loving kid sci a , lie Ka is ok bo e’s Ny l m PACS on One person sure to love Bil n’t miss a special story fro do s, Plu . 12 ge pa on t gh d that her first sophie's spotli recent graduate who learne a y, st ri Ch t ou ab rn in her textbooks… page 9, where you’ll lea t be exactly like something no t gh mi ii!) wa Ha (in n job in deaf educatio d we will see and healthy holidays, an y pp ha u yo sh wi we , From our family to yours winning 2018! you in what is sure to be a

Mel Paticoff Grossman

www.HearingOurWay.com info@hearingourway.com PO Box 13, Greenlawn, New York 11740 Volume 4, No. 4 ©2017 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.


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


Subscribing = loving! Please subscribe and show your support! Your subscription will help us reach and conne! with even more kids with hearing loss who listen and talk.

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Gre adve ience Guy and om of the World is the first cter, is an orphan c S e h t e y N l il ara ott by B my favorite ch niuses at the B Jack and the Ge e mystery books. Jack, who iscientist with c series of scien e the mystery of a missing s he book lv .T that has to so ster siblings, Matt and Ava wists and fo ft o is the help of h ntarctica, and it has tons es you about h A takes place in eep you hooked! It also teac cess of k ro l p il e turns that w desalination, which is th afe to drink. as science, such f ocean water so that it is s you to make es to taking salt ou is book because it encourag h I recommend t e world. th in e a differenc


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nica , 10, does not Da d an , ts an pl im ar le l coch Brinley, 8, has bilatera th love gymnastics, baseball, and spending ey bo are. have hearing loss. Th droom that they sh be e th in rt fo en dd hi r r for time together in thei er, and I look up to he st si g bi r he as e m to t Danica: Brinley looks up ys responsible with her cochlear implants, bu s alwa or when her batterie g in m being so brave. She is im sw s e’ sh n n I help, like whe od or bad— there are times whe ip, but it’s neither go sh on ti la re r ou s ct die. Hearing loss affe just different. things if y ways. She repeats an m so in e m s lp y he Brinley: My big sister always there when I’m afraid. After a long da d is g I don’t understand an always understandin is er st si y m , ar he ergy to at school using my en a hug. at and there to give me g loss demonstration in ar he a d di ly nt ce Ears’ y mom re Danica: Brinley and m class all of the amazing things Brin’s ‘Magic n the s take her school. Mom told rinley the Magician’ wa ‘B , em st sy FM r he lp of to could do. With the he om asked the class M ! fs uf m r ea g in ar we peated to a different room… ck in the room, she re ba e m ca y le rin B n he say a secret word. W ugh her FM system !). ro th d ar he e sh ch hi y the secret word (w d I was so proud of m an d, se es pr im so s The entire class wa and determination. sister’s confidence r family, we are each One Last Word: In ou pporters. We never su e on r be m nu s r’ he ot our ys, “I can! ” We share say I can’t—it’s alwa e a family to encourag hearing loss story as be proud of their other kids to always differences.

On Thin Ice

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 on thin ice and think it has to do with ice skating… nope! On thin ice is an idiom that means you are doing something risky or taking a chance. It can even mean time is running out! Like this: “If the team scores one more shot, they can win the game, but if they don’t make it, they can lose it all. They are really on thin ice here.”

rt of the Hearing loss is pa e your story whole family. Shar gourway.com with info @ hearin


ng vercomi


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

H W does Jorge hear? With an outgoing personality, a can-do attitude… and a bone anchored hearing aid! Academy Internship through school, where I had the opportunity to observe and volunteer at my local hospital for 12 weeks. It inspired me to pursue my career in health!

Jorge’s Faves

Overcoming Obstacles


I have been fortunate to have great academic and emotional support throughout school. I have an amazing relationship with two of my teachers: Theresa Copple, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Itinerant Teacher with Riverside County Office of Education, and Kathleen Tejeda, a Special Education Case Manager with Alvord Unified School District.

Catcher in the Rye


Soccer Card games


Salsa music


Mom’s spaghetti and meatballs

H FAVORITE QUOTE you can, “If you think ou think you you can. If y ou’re right.” can’t, then y rd —Henry Fo

All About Me

Hearing My Way

When our school district had the opportunity to pilot 24 Phonak Dynamic Soundfield Systems, I recognized what a challenge it could be for my teachers (who serve students at up to 19 different schools!) to implement. We decided I would be the point-person for this new technology at my high school. I taught myself how to use it, created a training video, led an in-service with all of the general education teachers receiving the equipment, and followed up 1 on 1 to ensure things were going smoothly. Even though this was a lot of work, I felt so inspired and motivated knowing I could help not only students with hearing loss like myself, but all students, to hear better!

Fun & Friends

My energy even began to inspire other students with hearing loss—even those who had not wanted to use assistive devices before—to take advantage of resources and accept themselves. My friend with microtia agreed to try on a BAHA softband and cried! Even friends who didn’t have hearing loss loved the soundfield systems. At the end of the year, it wasn’t just me running the program; everyone pitched in to help safely disassemble the technology and store the systems for the following year. Now that I’ve graduated, I’ve even trained a younger student to lead the Dynamic Soundfield training program!

Hi, I’m Jorge, and I am 18-years-old. I recently graduated high school in Riverside, California and just began my freshman year at Rochester Institute for Technology-NTID in New York. I am studying to be a Physician Assistant because I love helping people! I was born with microtia in one ear, which causes single-sided hearing loss because I have an undeveloped outer ear and ear canal. In elementary school, I wore an FM system, but it only amplified my ear with typical hearing, not my ear with hearing loss. I wanted a better solution and went through 10 reconstructive surgeries to try to build an outer ear and ear canal. When these didn’t work, I decided it was time to try something different. After a trial with a bone anchored hearing aid, I knew the Cochlear BAHA would be right for me. I had the surgery as a teenager and have loved it ever since! I love being around people and doing lots of activities. At school I was president of the ASL Club and played soccer, my favorite sport. I am hooked on going to Escape Rooms with my friends on the weekends, and on vacations I love to visit my family in Mexico. The activity that meant the most to me was my Health



Medicine Man

My surgeon, Dr. Pham, has made a big difference in my life. I watched how he took a true team approach by working with my teacher Theresa and case carrier Kathleen to provide me the best care. Their partnership inspired me to do greater good in the world because they were dedicated to helping me all my life. As a Physician Assistant, or one day perhaps a pediatrician or surgeon, I hope to put as much effort and care into working with my patients. I think it’s important to have a goal and share it with others. Once I asked for help from my support team in reaching my goal of being in the medical field, they helped me to create action steps and find programs such as my Health Academy Internship. Help is there if you ask for it and embrace it!

Yes I Can

Last year, I received the “Yes I Can” Award in the technology category from the Council for Exceptional Children. I felt so honored to be recognized for my work cataloging and troubleshooting the soundfield equipment at my school and creating my video, “How to Use the Phonak Dynamic Soundfield Digimaster

5000.” I was able to bring my family and teachers to the awards ceremony with me thanks to the generosity of my school district.

Jorge’s Advice

My best advice is to take advantage of the resources and support that you are offered. When I was younger, I fought the FM system, but now that I am older and have the right device, I benefit so much from my hearing technology. My classmates have also learned to embrace resources rather than fight them. I have learned over the years that the best way to be included is to come into the room with a smile and a positive personality. I know that I cannot control what other people say or do. All I can control is my response to it. So if someone says something that isn’t nice, I just laugh it off and don’t respond. I choose to be happy and not focus on the negative. It won’t stop me from living my life!

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


Hi bakers! My name is Evelyn, and

welcome to my kitchen. I’m 14-years-old, I have one cochlear implant and one hearing aid, and I live in Canada. I’m here to share my love of baking with you, so whip out your spatula, and let’s get cooking!

Ring in the Winter Olympics Gingerbread Cookies INGREDIENTS

Look out for boLd text to know what supplies you will need!

— TIPS — If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a Ziploc bag cut with a tiny hole. If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can use 2 cups, one bigger and one smaller. If you want to use this recipe to make gingerbread men, bake for 6 to 9 minutes.


• 2 Tablespoons meringue powder • 3 cups flour • ¼ cup water (plus more for thinning) • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar • 4 cups powdered sugar • ¾ teaspoon baking soda • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon • Red, green, yellow, blue, • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger and black food coloring • ½ teaspoon ground cloves • ½ teaspoon salt • 1 ½ sticks of butter, softened to room temperature, cut into 12 pieces • ¾ cup light or dark molasses • 2 Tablespoons milk

COOKIE DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an electric mixer, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt at low speed until combined (about 30 seconds). Stop the mixer and add the pieces of butter. Mix at medium-low speed until the mixture is ‘sandy’ (1 to 2 minutes). 2. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the molasses and milk. Mix until the dough is evenly moistened (about 20 seconds). Increase the speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined (about 10 seconds). 3. Scrape the dough onto a work surface and divide in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll the dough ¼ inch thick between two large sheets of parchment or wax paper. Leaving the dough sandwiched between the paper, stack it on a baking sheet, and freeze until firm (15 to 20 minutes). 4. Remove one dough sheet from the freezer and place on the counter. Peel off the top paper sheet. Using a 3½” round cookie cutter, gently cut the dough into 3 circles in a straight row with just ¼ inch in between each. Using a 2½” round cookie cutter, cut out the centers of the 3 circles. Take the larger cookie cutter and cut 2 circles INTO the 3 already cut circles to form the rings (see picture). Remove all extra dough. 5. On a different baking mat or parchment paper, roll out dough again. Cut 2 large circles, then use the smaller cutter to make the cut outs. Remove excess dough 6. Place onto cookie sheets and bake until set in the centers (3 to 5 minutes). Watch carefully—baking won’t take long! 7. Cool on sheet for 2 minutes, then remove the cookies with a wide metal spatula and place on a wire rack. Cool to room temperature. When the cookies have cooled, pieces should fit together to form the Olympic rings! 8. Gather the scraps and repeat the rolling, cutting, and baking process with all of the remaining dough.

ROYAL ICING DIRECTIONS 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together meringue powder and water until a slight foam forms. 2. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until icing becomes light and airy (about 2 minutes). If the mixture is too thick and not mixing well, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time. The icing should still be very thick at this point. 3. When ready, separate icing into 5 bowls and add food coloring to make each bowl a different color. Mix well and transfer each to separate piping bag. 4.Outline the top of each cookie, then fill in. Use a picture of the Olympic rings to help!


Get baking, then send in your pics! @HearingOurWay

Jorge’s How-To Guide:


! y t s i r h C

Becoming Your Own Advocate Jorge Delgado and his teachers were thrilled when they got the opportunity to pilot 24 Phonak Dynamic Soundfield Systems at their school. But what happens when you have amazing technology in your hands, and no one knows how to use it yet? 17-year-old Jorge took it upon himself to learn how to assemble each soundfield system, train each general education teacher receiving the technology, and transform his school in the process. 1. PLAN Jorge began by learning how the microphones and speakers work together. Once Jorge learned to use the technology himself, he wanted to be sure his teachers felt confident using the Roger system, too. He planned a training session called an in-service for all of the teachers receiving soundfield systems in their classrooms. He also created a video of his training for them to look back on later. 2. INTRODUCE Whether leading a training or starting in a new class, a personal introduction helps teachers understand who you are, how your hearing loss affects you, and why the assistive technology and/or accommodations are important to you. For teachers, hearing this from you in your own words, rather than from your parent or hearing itinerant, can be very powerful. For instance, Jorge explained that he has microtia, uses a bone anchored hearing aid, and that the Phonak Dynamic Soundfield System would: a. Improve his listening and learning with less strain to hear b. Reduce the amount of repetition and vocal strain from his teachers c. Help his peers, even those without hearing loss, hear and focus better

Installation instru#ions, user guides, instru#ional videos and other resources are available on Phonak.com and YouTube. To hear the experiences of other kids and teens with hearing loss visit bringsoundtolife.com.

3. TRAIN With just a few presses of a button, the Roger Dynamic Soundfield is ready to go. Yet no matter how simple technology may seem to you, when training your teachers in new technology, go step-by-step, and don’t rush. They will need to know how to turn devices on and off, wear them properly, and charge them. New technology can be challenging for some, so try to relate it to something they already know. Jorge told his teachers, “Just like you do with your phone, you will have to charge the transmitter at the end of the day.” 4. FOLLOW UP After the in-service, check in to see how your teachers are doing with the technology. Help them troubleshoot so that they feel confident and embrace the changes. Don’t be afraid to politely remind them to charge the device, wear the microphone properly, or use the Roger Pass-around microphone when your peers are asking questions, if need be. 5. ADVOCATE Even with assistive technology, there may still be times when you miss what is said or need to ask clarifying questions to understand. At the end of the day, whether you have teachers who struggle to embrace the technology in their classroom or the most supportive teachers in the world, you will always have to rely on your self-advocacy skills!

My dream career

My dream job was to be a teacher of the deaf. After growing up in Wyoming and going to graduate school in Missouri, I made that dream come true as a first year teacher in beautiful Hawai’i. However, I learned that Hawai’i is not necessarily ‘paradise’ for a new teacher of the deaf. Hawai’i faces many challenges around education, and children with hearing loss don’t always receive appropriate services. I needed to use my training and experiences to quickly learn to advocate for my students. Now I’ve branched out on my own with a mission to bring awareness for education and technology and provide private services for children with hearing loss.

Hawai’i Hears

After my first year in Hawai’i, I started Hawai’i Hears, an organization designed to bring education about hearing loss and deaf education to teachers, administrators, families, and children themselves. I hope to bring awareness to the state level by reforming laws around deaf education, early intervention, and early amplification. I plan to start a website full of resources for families and professionals and offer one-on-one video chat sessions to serve all of the islands.

Hawai’i Speaks

The first word I learned when I moved to Hawai’i was Kuleana. It means responsibility, or honoring your own self.

Perfect Partners

Even though I sometimes feel far from home, my PACS family is always there to support me, even two years after graduation. When they heard about my need for a resource like Hearing Our Way in Hawai’i, the current deaf education class pitched in by donating the money they raised at the St. Louis Walk4Hearing to fund an annual subscription of 100 magazines. Now I can distribute Hearing Our Way all around the islands. Mahalo Nui (thank you very much)!

Interested in learning more about Christy’s graduate program in deaf education and audiology?

Visit pacs.wustl.edu


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Dear Sophie, Hi! My name is Drew. I am 15-years-old, and I’m from Valley Stream, New York. I have a high frequency hearing loss in both ears. This means I have trouble hearing speech sounds like /s/, /f/, and /o/ (th) without my hearing aids. When I was 3-years-old, I had cancer. Now, I am be#er! My hearing loss started because of my chemotherapy treatment. The do!ors found my hearing loss after they did a BAER (brainstem auditory evoked response) test. This measures how your brain processes the sounds that you hear. I’ve been wearing bilateral hearing aids since I was 4-years-old, and I use an FM system in school. My favorite Overcoming Obstacles story from Hearing Our Way was about Jordan, the college student interning at Southwest Airlines, who wants to be a pilot. My dream job is to become a pilot with Delta Airlines. I want to go to college in Atlanta, Georgia because that is where the Delta Headquarters is located. I want to be a pilot because I love to travel, and I want to be able to take my family all over the world. My favorite place to travel is Atlanta, not only because of the Delta Headquarters, but also because my favorite football team is the Atlanta Falcons. Go Falcons!


Lily loves reading Hearing Our Way and you will, too! a child or teen with Looking for the perfect gif t for audiologist? hearing loss, friend, teacher, or perfect aring Our Way is the An annual subscription to He t, or teacher this year! paren gift from any parent, grand Bulk pricing is available ar. ye 9/ Prices start at $19.9 doctors offices! for schools, hospitals, and

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

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

Kalie is 11-years-old, has bilateral cochlear implants, and loves all things science.

She is an animal lover, especially dogs, horses, and even dinosaurs! Kalie reads dinosaur books and memorizes facts about different types of dinosaurs. She even enjoys drawing them. Together with her younger sisters, Alexa and Zoey, Kalie loves to go to the zoo to see the animals.


Puzzle answer

Kalie’s favorite place in the world is the beach. She likes to look for ‘cute little crabs.’ She says, “Sometimes I am afraid crabs will pinch my fingers, but I still like to pick them up!” Kalie’s favorite sounds are the ocean waves and seagulls at the beach. One day, she hopes to go in a submarine and explore the deep ocean. When she grows up, Kalie wants to become a scientist and explorer.

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