Hearing Our Way: Spring 2015

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The magazine for kids and teens with hearing loss


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Hi from Mel!

4 Things

We Love

6 O vercoming Obstacles

8 Contest Corner

10 Fun & Games

Contributors Melanie Paticoff • Editor in Chief Valorie Johnson • Creative Contributor N-KCreative.com • Magazine Design Kristina Kruglova • Featured H W Tween With special thanks to H W friends Cameron, Jacob, Maddie, Katrina, and Rylee

www.HearingOurWay.com info@hearingourway.com St. Louis, MO Volume 2, No.1 ©2015 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. Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription for households, offices, and schools at 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 acknowledgement. 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.

A Sophie’s Tales™ Publication


Dear Readers,

season, lors, sights, and smells of the co the of nk thi le op pe ny appy Spring! So ma and cochlear through your hearing aids s nd sou w ne the of all ed but have you notic se April d blowing, and of course tho win , ing irp ch ds bir for y r share implants? Listen closel dents from the Moog Cente stu , 10 ge pa On rs. we flo y vic es ! showers that bring Ma Wh y We Lo ve Ou r He ar ing De s on as Re 10 p To in s nd sou means it’s time some of their favorite de after a long cold winter tsi ou ng tti Ge s. nd sou t ou letic kids and Spring isn’t just ab s issue we’re featuring ath thi in y wh s at’ Th ! on ti n’t play a to spring into ac you ever thought you could ve Ha y. pla y the rts spo zing into a teens and the awesome a noisy soccer field, squee on ing nn Ru s? los ng ari he g when you sport because of your team can all be challengin im sw e tiv eti mp co a on overcome. tight helmet, or being All of these obstacle s can be . ble ssi po im is ng thi no t l whose have a hearing loss, bu na is our incredible cover gir sti Kri , les ac st Ob ng mi co tive tennis, Speaking of Over 8, she already plays competi of e ag g un yo the At 8. s her hearing story is found on page h her family. She never let wit rld wo the s vel tra d an speaks two languages, play? loss stop her! sport you’ve always wanted to a re the Is g? rin sp s thi ive t you’re How will you get act have you faced in the past tha ms ble pro at Wh ? join to d nte your A team you’ve always wa ur coach on the field, use yo ng ari he le ub tro d ha e rting goods ready to solve? If you’v s with helmets, visit a spo tie ivi act m fro ay aw yed sta FM system. If you’ve the past, u’ve avoided water sports in yo If . les sty t en fer dif e store and try on som new water accessories made check out some of the great for today’s hearing devices. court ! season—the ball is in your Nothing can stop you this


ief Mel Paticoff, Editor in Ch and maltipoo, Sophie

bols Look for these sym agazine throughout the m 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


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Look we l ve ’ ‘Just Do It e s a r h p e ew ‘do. gives th Cameron meaning with his n ring sp ew a whole n athlete is ready to nd a g This youn n with his haircut ! into actio plant sports skins im cochlear

i n t a t S ti n a r i p s can’t do .’” in I e m s l tel me y tch omebod s ay, ‘Wa wks n s e s h i o d “ W le Seaha ng , all I somethi Coleman, Seatt —Der ric


football recently found a love of t bu ts or sp l al s ve lo Carleigh ilar to o has hearing aids sim wh , an m le Co ick rr De thanks to ceived her new jersey, re e sh n he W ! ts an pl her cochlear im try it on ! it and couldn’t wait to r fo ul ef at gr so s wa she


Sibling sp t

Meet Jacob and Maddie, siblings who never let hearing loss get in the way of fun ! Jacob, 12, has hearing loss and wears hearing aids, Maddie, 8, does not have hearing loss, and they even have a little brother, Chase, 3, who has cochlear implants! Jacob: Maddie is a very caring younger sister. We like playing outside together and playing video games. Chase and I have a special relationship because he has hearing loss like me. I’m glad that he will have me to look up to because I know what he will go through as he grows up.

W rds, W rds, W rds The Ball is in Yo ur Court

Maddie : Both of my brothers have hearing loss, but I hope people see that there is so much more to them—they are loving, caring, creative, artistic, nice, awesome people! My hopes for them are that no one makes fun of them and that they grow up to have a good life! Jacob: Maddie is really helpful when we play at the pool and beach by telling me what others are saying or when it’s time to get out of the pool. She is really good at remembering to get close and look at me when she talks to me. Maddie : Jacob plays baseball and tennis. I do gymnastics with my little brother Chase. Sometimes his cochlear implants fall off when he plays, which can be frustrating to see how it affects him during the activity we love. One Last Word: Sometimes hearing loss affects us as siblings—it can be frustrating, it can lead to silly moments, it can bring us closer together. Most of all, we are just a typical family who love spending time together and even annoy each other like any other brother and sister do!

Hearing loss is part of the whole family. Share your story with info@hearingourway.com

Language can be tricky, especially idioms, which mean something different than what they say. You might hear the idiom the ball is in your court and think it has to do with tennis courts and sports… nope! The ball is in your court means it’s your decision or responsibility to do something now. An example is: “What movie do you want to see?” “Don’t ask me—it’s up to you. The ball is in your court.”


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

H W does Kristina hear? With a tennis racket in hand, speaking Two languages, and two cochlear implants!

All About Me

Kristina’s Faves! H BOOKS

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Little Women


Elf Despicable Me The Amazing Spiderman


Pizza Pasta Hot dogs Chicken Nuggets


Tennis Soccer


Monopoly Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse


Seaworld Grand Canyon San Diego Zoo Italy Switzerland Germany


Hi, I’m Kristina. I’m 8-years-old and a third grader from Santee, California. I like to play tennis and soccer. I speak English and Russian, and my family loves to travel.

My Hearing Loss Story

I was diagnosed with hearing loss when I was born. I began wearing hearing aids when I was 3-months-old. I received a cochlear implant on my right ear when I was a year old. I continued to wear a hearing aid on the left ear. When I was 7-years-old, I received my second cochlear implant on the left ear. Thanks to my cochlear implants, I can speak and read in both Russian and English and be successful in school.

School Cool

I have been mainstreamed since kindergarten and use an FM system to hear my teacher loud and clear. I love being bimodal because my cochlear implants give me great sound, and the FM system amplifies the teacher’s voice. In my class, a boy named Jeremy also has hearing loss and uses cochlear implants. We’ve been in the same class the past 3 years and always support and help each other. At recess time, we play soccer together.

Overcoming Obstacles

When I had surgery for my second cochlear implant, I could not use my first cochlear implant. My mom had to use a notepad for communication the first day after the surgery. It was very hard for both of us because before that, I never had any situations when I couldn’t hear.

Kriistina and her family in Italy at the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Sports Court

My favorite sport is tennis. The first time I held a tennis racket, I was 3-years-old. I have the best coach ever: my dad! We practice 6 times a week and play tennis tournaments every month. I have 6 medals and 3 trophies. Every year in March, my family and I go to a professional tennis tournament, BNP Paribas Open, in Indian Wells, California. As a family we also watch professional tennis tournaments on TV. I read about the history of tennis and famous tennis players in books and on the internet. When I grow up, I want to be a professional tennis player and tennis expert.

World Traveler

I travel a lot with my family. Four or five times a year, we go to different places in the USA. This year for summer vacation, we traveled to Europe, where we explored Italy, Switzerland, and Germany by car. My cochlear

implants never stop us from traveling. We always charge my batteries at each hotel and use a dry and store kit to keep them working well.

About My Family

My family and I are very close. My mom takes care of my family and does everything for us, including always helping me with my cochlear implants. My dad is very kind. In addition to being my tennis coach, he works for the Navy and travels often. I have 2 grandmas, one who lives in Russia and one who lives in Ukraine. I also have a brother named Nikita. He is 14-years-old and is in ninth grade. He’s very nice and funny. He is also a Sea Cadet and has been in training for 3 years. He is successful in school, and when he grows up he wants to be a Navy Seal. He will protect our country so I am very proud of him.

Future tennis pro!

Share your story of Overcoming Obstacles! E-mail: info@hearingourway.com

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Frozen: The Magic of Cochlear Implants by Katrina

In our last issue, we asked readers to reimagine Frozen with a hearing loss twist. Two finalists sent in creative stories about Anna and Elsa. K atrina, 8, imagines that Anna has hearing loss and needs cochlear implants just like she has. Rylee, 9, wears hearing aids and sends her Frozen friends on an adventure to find the parts needed to build some of their own.

b, o j t G rea ina Katr and ! e e l y R


Early one cold morning when Elsa woke up, Anna asked her, “Do you want to build a snowman?” As they played, Elsa created snow and cliffs. Then, Elsa’s magic accidentally hits Anna right on the ear and she falls. She calls to Anna, but she can no longer hear! Her father says, “I don’t know how we can fix this.” He finds a map that will lead them to the trolls. The trolls listen as the parents explain. The troll leader says, “Unfortunately, I am unable to help, but I know who can. An audiologist can tell you if Anna is a candidate for a cochlear implant.” The audiologist wants the king and queen to understand that the cochlear implant is a surgical procedure. The king and queen look at each other and know that they want to do whatever it takes to help their daughter. On the day of the cochlear implant surgery, the king woke Anna and Elsa early in the morning. The family left in their carriage and arrived at the hospital. They were taken to a room called the ‘Hugs and Kisses Room.’ This is where they said their goodbyes, and Anna went off to surgery. She woke up in recovery and then was ready to go home to the castle. In a few weeks she would have her new princess pink processor. A month later, Elsa and Anna ran back outside to go ice skating, play in the snow, and of course, build a snowman. With her pink cochlear implant, Anna could hear, talk, and sing with Elsa.

Do You Want to Build a Hearing Aid? by Rylee

When Elsa accidently gives Anna hearing loss, they need to go to the trolls. The troll leader says that Anna needs hearing aids. They will need to find 4 parts of the hearing aid. First, Anna and Elsa ask Olaf if he has 1 of those 4 parts. Olaf goes to a crystal vine and gives it to Anna—it was a clear and shiny tube! Next, they go to see Kristoff and Sven. Kristoff goes to his ice pile and finds an ear mold that is light blue with snowflakes. Then, Sven sniffs around his carrot pile and finds a white sparkly hearing aid processor. The group returns to the troll leader. He says they need 1 more thing, a battery. Anna asks Elsa if she can make one. Elsa uses her magic to make the battery, put the parts together, and decorate the hearing aid with snowflakes. For the first time since the accident, Anna can hear again! They return to the village and tell everyone about the new hearing aids and their big adventure to get them.

! y a l P , t e S , y d A Re It seems like some kids have been playing sports since the day they could walk, but other kids don’t feel as comfortable on the field. These days, there’s an activity for everyone who wants to get active and find a sport they will love! Check out some of these great organizations to get involved with this spring! Girls On the Run is an after-school program for girls who want to make new friends, gain confidence, and build healthy habits. At the end of the program, everyone takes part in a non-competitive 5K event. www.GirlsOnTheRun.org Jacob’s Ride is an organization with a mission to raise funds and awareness about the benefits of cochlear implants. Grab your bike and ride with Jacob, a young adult with a cochlear implant, then join him at a baseball game in your hometown! www.JacobsRide.org Let’s Move! was started by First Lady Michelle Obama to encourage kids to eat healthy and be more active before, after, and during school. For the program’s 5th anniversary, she has challenged the country to get dancing by learning the #GimmeFive dance. www.LetsMove.gov Walk4Hearing brings thousands of people together around the country to raise awareness about hearing loss. Become a team captain and ask your friends and family to walk with you. Together, you can raise money, raise awareness, and get active—all for a cause we love! www.HLAA.convio.net Whether you love more traditional sports, running, biking, dancing, or just want to get walking, there are always ways you can get out and get active. Look for even more local programs at your school and in your hometown.

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Meet Shaylynn ! My Dream Career

I want to be a pediatric audiologist to help kids with hearing loss like my brother Trevor who is 17-years-old, wears bilateral hearing aids, and has a form of dwarfism. Trevor’s audiologists helped him grow from a little boy with no language to a young man who excels in the mainstream setting.

BR therly Love:

Trevor’s hearing loss has deepened our sibling relationship. If it weren’t for him, I would not have a passion for audiology and chosen this career. His hearing loss doesn’t hold him back at all, and I’m so proud of him!

Tips & Tricks

Ü W ear your devices during all waking hours. The more you listen, the more your brain can do! Ü Try to eliminate distractions and focus on conversations by looking at the person talking and turning off background noise like the TV. Ü Practice listening, language, and communication in natural, relaxed environments, not just in the classroom. Try going outside to play catch, shoot hoops, or finding something else you love to do with a friend or sibling!

I would tell young Shaylynn...

If there’s a sport you want to play, go out for the team. Even if you don’t make it, you might make new friends or learn something from the process. You never know unless you try, so just do your best, and don’t miss out on any opportunities.

rted out by attending all of

nger, Trevor sta Slam Dunk When we were you ferred when he began playing sports,

but I pre my competitive sports games, manages the er him on instead. Today, Trevor and I was able to be there to che loved by ool. He is devoted to the team, sch h hig his at m tea l bal ket boys’ bas news. He is a ed in a recent segment on the the coach, and was even featur about! manship and teamwork are all great example of what sports Interested in learning more about Shaylynn’s graduate program in audiology?

Visit pacs.wustl.edu


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Reasons Why We Love Our Hearing Devices

by Bethany & Cordon from the M oog Center for Deaf Education in St. Louis, M issouri 1. We can hear people talkin g all the time. 2. We can hear music on the radio in the car. Sometimes we sing along ! 3. We can hear birds singing outside in the yard. 4. We can hear Dad starting his car in the garage when we’re still inside the ho use. 5. We can hear the phone rin ging inside Mom’s purse. 6. We can hear the puppy ba rking as soon as we get home from school. 7. We can hear Mom chopp ing onions on the cutting board . 8. We can hear people eatin g crunchy foods like cookies or chips. 9. We can hear rain on the roof. 10. We can hear Mom walkin g up the stairs. (That means we’d better clean up our rooms !)

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Let Sophie help you share your hearing loss and cochlear implant story! available at:


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Dear Sophie, I have a hearing loss and wear hearing aids. I wear my hair long but want to get it cut shorter, but I’m scared people will make fun of my hearing aids. Should I be proud I can hear or hide my hearing aids so I won’t be insulted?


Dear John, Great question ! There are lots of guys with short hair who wear hearing aids and don’t hide it. There are also girls who have hearing devices; even if they have long hair, they often wear their hair in ponytails and are proud to show off their hearing aids. If you show that you are proud and not self-conscious, other kids will see that there’s nothing to insult or make fun of because you’re totally cool with it. Confidence is a great way to stop bullying ! Hearing loss is nothing to be ashamed of, and everyone is different in some way—that’s what makes us unique and special !

—Love, Sophie


Show Us Hearing YOUR Way! Hannah, Ethan, and Skylar sent in pictures with their magazines from across the United States, Canada, and more… Send us your pictures and you could be in the next issue!

Connect with Us and SPRING into Action! F Like our Facebook page for all of the things we love T Follow us on Twitter for inspiration and the latest news I Tag us on Instagram to show us where you read Hearing Our Way

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