Hearing Our Way: Spring 2020

Page 1

The magazine for kids and teens with hearing loss ring 2020 off Sp k c i K

ming o c r ve les

c bsta



n a g i r Ker hlynn & As

fun e&s gam

Contents 4 Things

We Love

Hi from Mel!

6 O vercoming Obstacles

10 Fun & Games 12 Sophie’s


Contributors Melanie Paticoff Grossman • Editor in Chief Magazine Design • N-KCreative.com Overcoming Obstacles • Ashlynn and Kerrigan 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 7, No. 1 ©2020 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,

ling for a great ue sure to get the ball rol iss cer soc ing spr a h wit ferently? Maybe We are kicking off 2020 w year? What will you do dif ne the for als go w ne e this issue of year! Did you set som guage? How will the kids in lan w ne a nt, me tru ins w try a new sport, a ne u in 2020? Hearing Our Way inspire yo gan, featured in Overcoming rri Ke d an nn hly As s ter sis each other as Those kids include soccer h hearing aids. They rely on wit es let ath ate on ssi pa k up to their mom, Obst acles, who are h hearing loss, and they loo wit up g win gro of ce en eri who they share the exp have another set of sisters we , t sp g lin Sib in , ll. Then ght, we have Jenny, who has hearing loss as we sophie's spotli in y, all fin d an a, gelin love soccer- Gianna and An just like her. g a sister with hearing loss vin ha t ou ab ry sto r he res who also sha service features y+ yet? The new streaming Have you checked out Disne es l’s Hero Project, which featur rve Ma e lik , ies ser al gin ori some awesome r, ess what? Braden Bake Gu ce. en fer dif a g kin ma s young heroe t his tured in an episode all abou fea is , kid ver co y Wa r Ou a Hearing cannot hearing aids to people who fundraising efforts to give We L ve. afford them. Learn more in TV re big this your eye on the ball and sco ep ke u yo pe ho we , do to Whatever it is you love spring! ossman, M.S.D.E.

Mel Paticoff Gr

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


See Everything They Say Enjoy talking on the phone – confident that you’ll catch every word! The ultimate phone for people with hearing loss, CapTel® shows you captions of everything they say. It’s like captions on TV – for the phone!

www.CapTel.com 1-800-233-9130

CapTel 2400i includes Bluetooth® wireless technology and Speakerphone.

FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS ANYONE BUT REGISTERED USERS WITH HEARING LOSS FROM USING INTERNET PROTOCOL (IP) CAPTIONED TELEPHONES WITH THE CAPTIONS TURNED ON. IP Captioned Telephone Service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone. There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund. No cost is passed on to the CapTel user for using the service. CapTel captioning service is intended exclusively for individuals with hearing loss. CapTel® is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Ultratec, Inc. is under license. (v2.6 10-19)



roject Marvel’s Hero Pnew Disney+, is a series that

Marvel’s Hero Project, streaming on the differences in their communities. features real-life young heroes making kid Braden Baker, who One of those kids is our very own cover could not afford hearing aids–and recognized a problem –that some kids set out to solve it. ing when I found out Marvel wanted Braden says, “It was really overwhelm y wanted to turn ME into a superhero to feature my story. The fact that the e recognition but at the same time I hav was UNBELIEVABLE! I appreciate the t wha g the way who have taught me learned from so many other heroes alon devices. The other kids on the show I did not know about access to hearing re– I hope you’ll watch them ALL do mo have given me renewed motivation to and be inspired, too!” read his Marvel comic on Marvel.com. Watch Braden’s episode on Disney+ and ect. He is presented Braden is featured in Marvel’s Hero Proj with a comic starring himself!

books We L ve: Eva’s Bookshelf

Jersey Eva is an 11-year-old girl from Newdin g! She

who has always loved rea has hearing loss in her left ear, but with the help of her Roger Focus® receiver and wireless system, she never lets hearing loss hold her back! Ready to discover your next favorite book? Eva invites you to explore her bookshelf.


ac Millman is a picture book about a Moses Goes to a Concert by Isa r does not have hearing aids or cochlea boy named Moses who is deaf. Moses communicate. Moses implants– he uses sign language to for the deaf attend a and his classmates from his school s of becoming a concert. There, he realizes his dream you can be anything percussionist.* He also learns that ability or not–as you want to be whether you have a dis includes diagrams long as you work hard at it! The author guage. I had fun trying to teach readers some basic sign lan mend this book to to sign the phrases and would recom ries about music, anyone who enjoys picture books, sto and disability. ge, and books about deafness, sign langua *percussionist: a musician who plays instruments that are sounded by being struck or scraped such as drums, rattles, xylophones, cymbals, and more.

g Siblint sp

Meet two sisewteYorsrk

from Long Island , N ing loss who never let hear n! get in the way of fu

Angelina, 14, and Gianna, 12, both have bilateral moderate to severe hearing loss and wear hearing aids. Together they love to play soccer, message each other on social media, and go shopping.

W rds, W rds, W rds On the Ball

Angelina: We are super close sisters who do everything together, like watching videos, riding bikes, and sharing our experiences of growing up with hearing loss. Even though Gianna is younger, she’s always there to help me. For instance, when I switched from behind-the-ear to in-the-ear hearing aids, Gianna encouraged me to stick with the change and keep wearing the new hearing aids until I got used to them, and I’m glad I listened to her! She will also bake me brownies whenever I ask her to!

Gianna: Angelina and I love to hang out together at home. Even if we are in two different rooms, we are sending each other funny pictures on Snapchat. One of our favorite things to do is have ‘Tea Time,’ where we talk about the drama and gossip from school! Angelina always supports me and encourages me to stick up for myself. She also reminds me to take off my hearing aids before jumping in the pool… oops!

Angelina: Our hearing losses don’t stop us from anything. We did gymnastics together for nine years, and now we both play soccer. Sometimes our teams play against each other! Playing on rainy days can be challenging when we need to wear protective gear with our hearing aids.

Gianna: I was diagnosed with hearing loss at birth and have worn hearing aids all my life. The best parts about my hearing aids are that they play music when I turn them on, they connect to my phone via Bluetooth, they work with the soundfield FM system in my classroom, and I can turn them off when I don’t want to hear anyone talking! It really helps to have a sister with hearing loss to talk to and relate to so I never feel alone or different.

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 the ball and think you are standing on top of a ball… nope! On the ball means you are getting things done and staying ahead of your work. Like this: “I have been really on the ball at school recently. I already finished writing my report, studying for my test, and reading next month’s book.”

One Last Word: Angelina wants to be a doctor or an audiologist when she grows up, and Gianna wants to be a teacher. are your hole family. Sh w e th f o rt is pa m Hearing loss gourway.co in r a e h @ fo s: in story with u


ng vercomi


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

H W do Ashlynn and Kerrigan hear? With their soccer cleats on, their dogs by their side, and two hearing aids each!

All About Us

Ashlynn’s Faves H spending time with my friends and boyfriend

H shopping, playing sports, four-wheeling, go-carting

H learning American

Sign Language at school

H listening to rap and hip hop music

H eating pizza

Hi, we are Ashlynn, 16-years-old, and Kerrigan, 13-years-old, from Newport, Virginia. We are both athletes who love to play basketball and soccer. We even had the opportunity to travel to Europe with our soccer team last year!

Hearing My Way

We both have the same type of hearing loss (moderate-to-severe sensorineural), but Ashlynn was diagnosed at three years old, and Kerrigan was diagnosed at birth. We each wear bilateral hearing aids and use FM systems at school and while playing sports (our coaches wear the FM transmitters). Our mom actually has hearing loss and uses hearing aids as well, so hearing loss has always been a part of our family’s life!

Soccer Sisters

Kerrigan’s Faves H drawing, painting, and doing arts and crafts

H playing with my dogs H listening to country music H eating chicken nuggets

Our Faves H playing soccer and basketball

H watching Family Feud H visiting Dollywood, Disney World, and Topsail Beach, NC


Soccer is a big part of our lives. The sport has taught us valuable lessons about getting along with others, staying physically active, being disciplined with practicing, and creating lifelong friendships. We have also encountered challenges as soccer players with hearing loss. For example, when playing outdoor soccer, it can be difficult to hear the coach’s voice in wind and rain, even when using the FM system. I (Ashlynn) remember how nervous I was to travel to Germany and Holland with my soccer team. I was worried that I might miss or misunderstand things because of my hearing loss. However, it turned out that the trip was awesome, and I was able to advocate for myself. Soccer gave me the opportunity to experience different cultures, see beautiful sights, and play my favorite sport, all on another continent!

Sister love at the beach!

Family Bond

Our mom is our role model. She has hearing loss, too, and is successful in her career and very hardworking. She knows how to handle situations related to her hearing loss and ours really well. Mom is always there for us, no matter what, and encourages us to be proud, work hard, and be kind to others. We feel a special bond with her as well as with each other because we all share some of the same experiences and challenges with hearing loss. At the same time, we have an older sister who does not have hearing loss, but who is always there for us and will help us by repeating things we miss in noisy situations.

vorite Quoteve Ashlynn’s Fand the athlete you’

hi “ Somewhere be and the urs of practice ho e th d an e m beco a little ve pushed you is coaches who ha me and love with the ga girl who fell in r.” ck. . . .play for he never looked ba —Mia Hamm

School Cool

We love working with our teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing (TODHH), Mrs. Herman, at our public school. We work on reading, writing, vocabulary, and self-advocacy skills. She also involves us in our IEP (Individualized Education Program) planning and meetings. We discuss our goals for each year, decide which accommodations are needed, and participate in leading our IEP meetings. Some of our accommodations include preferential seating, FM systems, and access to hearing aid batteries. Mrs. Herman has taught us how to speak up for ourselves if we have trouble hearing in class or if our teachers forget to use the FM.

That’s Just the Way We Hear

When someone asks about our hearing devices, we just explain that we wear hearing aids that help us to hear better and that we can’t hear well without them. We explain that the FM makes the teachers’ voices louder and clearer. We learned that even when we feel shy or self-conscious about having hearing loss, it’s usually better to own it and be open about sharing that we have hearing loss.

Friend Fail

Our friends are really understanding about our hearing loss, but social situations can be challenging. Sometimes a friend will try

Ashlynn (left) and Kerrigan (right) in action on the soccer field.

to whisper something to us, and we have to remind them to face us when speaking or tell us later when there’s no one else around. When groups of friends are talking, it can be hard to follow the conversation. If people cover their mouths while talking, it is really hard to understand them. We’ve learned how to say something to help our friends understand our needs so we can be included in the conversation.

Quiet Time

One of the best parts about having hearing aids is that we can turn them off when we want to! For instance, when we play basketball and go to the free throw line to make a shot, the other team’s fans will pound their feet on the bleachers to distract us. We just open the battery doors on our hearing aids to turn them off so we can concentrate and make the basket! At night, we sleep really well in the quiet once we take our hearing aids out. We also find that we are very focused on the world around us. We pay close attention and can read lips really well- we can even ‘listen in’ on others’ conversations without them knowing!

Inspiration Station Ashlynn and K

s in motion! errigan are alway

I (Ashlynn) admire athlete Mia Hamm for many reasons. Before she became one of the best soccer players in the world, she overcame

— Be on our next cover! info@hearingourway.com —

Kerrigan’s Favorite Quote “ The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” —Mark Twain

many obstacles, like often being the youngest player or only girl on her teams. To play basketball and soccer, I’ve had to overcome my shyness and work on my self-confidence and attitude. I also had to improve my athletic skills. I learned that when I fail, I shouldn’t give up. I try to fight through it and always try my best.


We both would like to continue playing soccer in college, with hopes of athletic scholarships in our futures. We don’t think hearing loss will hold us back, and we know that as long as we work hard we can do anything!

Who We Are

Having hearing loss has made us stronger and not afraid to speak up. We’ve come to realize that everyone is different and has their own unique pieces of their identity. Hearing loss is one of ours, but it is definitely not the only thing that defines us!

Hi bakers! My name is Evelyn, and welcome to my kitchen. I’m 16-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!

Get the Ball Cinna-Rolling Cookies

Enjoy your oll cinnamon r h cookies wit , mily friends, fa ole or your wh m! soccer tea




1/4 cup butter, melted 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup butter, room temperature 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 2 teaspoons vanilla 3 Tablespoons heavy cream 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup powdered sugar 2 Tablespoons butter, melted 1-2 Tablespoons milk

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour

INSTRUCTIONS 1. For the filling, combine the melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside. 2. F or the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar, and mix on medium for 2 minutes. 3. A dd the egg, vanilla, cream, baking powder, and salt. Mix for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix on low and add flour until just combined. 4. A dd a little bit of flour to a piece of parchment paper. Press the dough into a 15x10 rectangle. 5. S pread the filling mixture on top of the dough. Leave an inch around the edges. Roll the dough up tightly from the long edge. 6. Cut the rolled dough into 10 equal slices. For smaller cookies, make more slices. Roll each slice into a ball and place on a lightly floured baking sheet or plate. Place in freezer for 20 minutes. 7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place dough balls onto the pans, leaving space for them to spread. 8. Bake 15-17 minutes, until edges are lightly golden. 9. Cool cookies on pan 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool. 10. F or icing, combine powdered sugar, butter, and 1 Tablespoon milk. Whisk until no lumps remain. Add more milk for thinner icing. 11. D ip the tops of the cooled cookies into the icing or drizzle icing on top. Allow to set.


Get baking, then send in your pics: @HearingOurWay


PACS PALS • • • Meet


My dream career

The Fab Four! Hi, we are The Fab Four, a group of four fifth-graders with hearing loss who are all in the same grade at the same school!

I was inspired to be a teacher of the deaf by my cousin who has hearing loss and uses bilateral hearing aids. I want to be an itinerant teacher so I can help students with hearing loss in their home school districts.

Overcoming Obstacles

Hi, I’m Grace. I have an asymmetrical high frequency bilateral hearing loss

that was first diagnosed in 2018. I wear a hearing aid in my left ear and use a HAT (Hearing Assistance Technology/Roger DM) system at school. I love swimming, Minecraft, writing, drawing, eating Asian food, traveling, and doing water sports. Because of The Fab Four, I don’t feel like I’m alone anymore. It’s easier for me to tell others about my hearing loss because I have friends like me.

As a college freshman,* I received my lowest ever GPA,* a 1.8. I was put on academic probation* and was at risk of being kicked out of school. I was so discouraged; I almost wanted to give up. However, I pushed myself to do better, study harder, work with a tutor, and stay determined. I was able to turn my grades around. I was so proud when I graduated college with a strong GPA, but more challenges were ahead of me. I was not accepted into any of the graduate school programs in speech-language pathology that I applied to. I felt so disappointed and questioned what I would do. One year later, I decided to apply again, but this time to deaf education programs. My perseverance paid off, and I was accepted into the wonderful PACS program!

Hi, I’m Ethan. I have a profound unilateral hearing loss in my right ear and

Student Teacher

Even though we have different degrees of hearing loss and use different hearing devices or amplification, we still share our hearing losses in common and support each other along the way!

typical hearing in my left. I don’t use a hearing aid, but I use a sound-field speaker system in class. I love video games, sports, and math. It used to be only me with hearing loss, but last year I had one other student in my class with hearing loss, and this year I have two! I don’t feel like I’m alone anymore.

Hi, I’m Sofia. I was born with a severe to profound bilateral hearing loss

and my two cochlear implants sound perfect to me! I love swimming, playing games like Roblox, and traveling, especially to Italy, where I’ve been many times. The Fab Four is great because we are all friends. Other kids don’t stare at me because I have CI’s. Everyone is just used to it now. I feel just like everybody else.

Hi, I’m Mark.

I have a moderate sloping to severe-profound hearing loss, and use two hearing aids. I love reading, Star Wars, and playing with Legos. I have a twin brother, an older sister, and a pet lizard! In school and at church, I use a personal HAT system. The Fab Four is a great opportunity to have friends my age who also have hearing loss.

As a PACS student, I have the opportunity to student teach at Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) in St. Louis, Missouri. I work with students with all types of hearing loss and devices on speech, language, and listening skills. It is so rewarding to take what I am learning in class and apply it in real life. I love helping kids achieve their goals! College vocab: *freshman: a student in the first year of high school or college; *GPA: grade-point average; *probation: an amount of time when someone is being evaluated to see if they can show improvement.

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



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Your Logo Here

The Fun & Games Sponsorship is open for 2020. Get in touch! info@hearingourway.com

My Biggest Fears

Thoughts from a 14-year-old Hearing Our Way reader with hearing aids.

What if I feel different from others? What if I am sad that I am different? hearing equipment? What if I am tired of taking care of my ring aids? What if I feel ashamed that I wear hea one day? What if my hearing aids stopped working What if I couldn’t learn in school? What if I couldn’t hear music? them because I didn’t hear them? What if people thought I was ignoring me? What if people turned their backs on ause I could not hear them? What if I lost the people that I love bec ring aids and FM because they help me. I am responsible. I take care of my hea family’s voices because I have I can hear my friends’, teachers’, and my hearing aids and FM. my school. I have other kids with hearing loss in I have the best hearing teacher ever. port me even if I couldn’t hear. I have other teachers who would sup aids stop working for me. I could get a cochlear implant if hearing (ASL). I could learn American Sign Language I can relate to. I have a pen pal with hearing loss who n about other kids just like me. I read Hearing Our Way magazine to lear I wear hearing aids. I am no longer afraid to tell people why ce, I wouldn’t really care. If someone didn’t accept my differen I’m still going to be myself. ring aids stop helping me, If my hearing loss changes and if hea I will still be me.

us ! riting,

t, w Send in your ar photos to poetry or

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


An exciting PEN PAL PROGRAM presented by Ryan Brady with Hearing Our Way ! 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

i B r t h g d n i a r y a t e o H Y y ou! p p a H

We all love our birthdays, but kids with hearing loss sometimes have a bonus celebration—the anniversary of the day they got their hearing devices—their hearing birthdays.

When Viviann was 4-years-old, she celebrated her third hearing birthday with a totally awesome bilateral cochlear implant cake! We want to see photos of your hearing birthday celebration! Email them to us at info@hearingourway.com and you may be featured in Hearing Our Way.

Parents, want to surprise your child with a hearing birthday shoutout? Get in touch via email: info@hearingourway.com

Kennedi and Addison love reading Hearing Our Way and you will, too!

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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

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Sophie loves shining a spotlight on amazing kids with hearing loss around the world. To shine a spotlight on someone you know, write to us at info@hearingourway.com!

Jenny, 12, is a seventh grader from San Marcos, California who wears hearing aids. Jenny

attends a special International Baccalaureate (IB) school that places an emphasis on diversity. The school has a big campus and students are from all over the world. Jenny’s favorite subjects are math and language arts, and she is in the GEMS (Girls Engineering Math Science) club at school. Jenny’s younger sister also has a hearing loss. Even though her sister attends a regional program for students with hearing loss, the two are best friends. At home, Jenny helps her sister change her hearing aid batteries and use her dri-aid container. Jenny used to put the TV volume up really high at home, but now she turns the closed captioning on the TV—a feature she and her sister can both enjoy.


Jenny had hearing aids when she was young, but then she went 2-3 years without them. Finally she told her mom that she was having a hard time listening at school and got new hearing aids in fifth grade. Now at school she uses a mini mic that works with her personal behind-the-ear hearing aids and works one-on-one with a deaf/hard of hearing itinerant teacher, Ms. Bennett. Together they work on vocabulary related to hearing loss and devices, assistive technology and troubleshooting, and important self-advocacy skills. Now, Jenny feels confident in identifying the parts of her equipment that may not be working and asking her teacher or educational audiologist for help when needed.

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