Hearing Our Way: Fall 2020

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The magazine for kids and teens with hearing loss

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Contents 4 Things

Hi from Mel!

We Love

6 O vercoming Obstacles

10 Fun & Games 12 Sophie’s


Contributors Melanie Paticoff Grossman • Editor in Chief Magazine Design • N-KCreative.com Overcoming Obstacles • London 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. 3 ©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,

, I am excited of l year. Every year for the fall issue the most of your new schoo g kin ma d an l oo sch to ck ba go back to write to you about going This year, some of you will t. en fer dif y ver is it yet d aring masks; and This year is no different, an u will go back to school we yo of e som ; do ays alw u not look like your to school just like yo No, this school year might e. lin on l oo sch to ck ba go it will be some of you will and field trips, but maybe ls, ita rec , rts spo of l ful r yea h our average storybook school en many of us more time wit giv ve ha s nth mo six t las e e to read great something even better. Th tside of school, and more tim ou sts ere int r ou e lor exp what we’re expecting families, more time to ool year, when things aren’t sch is Th s. ale ryt fai o int e books and escap is year, it’s time to write Th r. yea l oo sch ale ryt fai a ve or used to, we might not ha our own stories. her own story in aids who is ready to write ng ari he h wit l gir g un yo a London is , and spending time es playing softball, dancing lov e Sh . les ac st Ob ng mi ndon’s Overco loss stop her! Because of Lo ng ari he r he let ’t esn do w to with friends, and she delayed, but she learned ho re we lls ski n tio ica un mm co hearing loss, her hard to catch r peers. Now she is working he to up t gh cau d an ak listen and spe LONDON! lls. KEE P UP THE GR EAT WO RK , ski g itin wr d an g din rea r up on he r more time together than eve nd spe to le ab re we s ilie fam ght, are two kids During the pandemic, many sophie's spotli , lan Dy d an , t sp her three younger before. Olivia, Sibling via is a great big sister to Oli s. ilie fam ir the h wit e ’s business. who really value tim hopes of joining his family in g gin log ng rni lea is lan siblings, and Dy I write g time for many families. As gin en all ch lly rea a en be s t if we stay I know that this ha for this year. But I know tha lds ho ure fut the at wh e sur this, I am not w pick up we will get through this. No er, oth ch ea of e car e tak d strong an story! to write your own y ad re t ge d an n a pe

, M.S.D.E. 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

Cover photo: © Southern Images Photography


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) .

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lifornia grader from Brawley, Ca Olivia Marie, 5, is a first color, and ride her scooter. d, who loves to play preten s are the perfect accessory nt pla im r is Her white cochlea ul braids. This hairstyle tif au be r he th wi ng alo to go the eat first impression on perfect for making a gr r in person or on the he first day of school, whet computer!

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Minneso from New Adrian, the way of fun ! hearing loss get in . Her younger siblings ss lo g in ar he s ha , 10 , Olivia and Hadley, 1, do not. Micah, 8, Mason, 6, eir dogs play outside with th to ve lo ey th er th ge To poline. and go on their tram

Olivia: I first got my hearing aids in preschool, after my mom noticed that I would stand really close to the TV and ask, “What?” a lot. I love my hearing aids; I especially like to choose a new color ear mold each summer. My brothers and I love to swim in our pool, ride four wheelers and bikes, and go boating. I even teach them gymnastics and how to sing the national anthem because I sung it so many times at school! I am so glad to finally have a sister, and I hope that we grow up close to each other.

W rds, W rds, W rds Storybook Ending

Micah: Olivia is a great big sister. She rides dirt bikes and builds forts with me. She helps me get ready in the morning and watches out for me at school, but sometimes she can be bossy! If Olivia doesn’t hear Mom and Dad, I repeat what they say.

Mason: I like to play with Olivia. She teaches me gymnastics. I used to wish I could wear hearing aids like Olivia!

And they lived

happily ever after!

Hadley: I love when Olivia babysits me while Mom makes dinner. We listen to music and dance together. I am so excited when Olivia gets off the bus after school every day.

One Last Word: Olivia’s hearing loss does not affect what a great big sister she is. She looks out for her brothers and cares for her sister. She loves them all, and with her caring nature she would love to be a veterinarian and care for animals when she grows up.

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

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 storybook ending and think of knights, dragons, and princesses… no! A storybook ending means a perfect happy ending like the kind only found in storybooks. Like this: “Fifth grade started out to be a great school year. I went on awesome field trips, made new friends, and had a great teacher. I thought my elementary school experience would have a storybook ending ending filled with graduation ceremonies, parties, and events before we went off to middle school, but everything was canceled. Even though we had a fun graduation car parade, it wasn’t a storybook ending.”


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

London’s Faves H ACTIVITIES Dancing Softball


H MUSIC Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi

H TV SHOW: Raven’s Home

H MOVIE: Onward

H FOODS: Pizza

H SPORTS TEAM: Chicago Bulls


H W does London hear? With her softball uniform on, her iPhone in hand, and two hearing aids!

All About Me

Hi, I’m London, and I am eight-years-old. I live in Burbank, Illinois and have two brothers, two sisters, and two dogs. I love playing softball, but I also love music and dancing, especially learning new TikTok dances!

Hearing My Way

When I was born, I passed my newborn hearing screening in the hospital, but when I was twelve-months-old, my mom could tell something was different about me from my siblings. I was not responding to loud noises, developing speech slowly, and being very loud. My dad just thought I was loud because of my Puerto Rican roots! At eighteen months I still was not talking, so I had my hearing tested. I was diagnosed with bilateral mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss and got my first pair of hearing aids when I was two-years-old. My first school was Child’s Voice, a school for kids with hearing aids and cochlear implants, where I learned to listen and speak and graduated in 2018. Being at Child’s Voice taught me how to take care of my hearing aids, advocate for myself, and raised my confidence.

Softball Star

My special talent is softball. I have learned to bat and throw the ball overhead. Softball takes a lot of practice, which I do at home, at school, and at the park. My sister and friends play softball, too. One of the best parts of softball is Coach Mike. His daughter is on my softball team, and he also has a younger daughter in preschool who has hearing aids like me. He understands what it’s like to have hearing aids, and he is happy to wear my Connect Clip while he coaches so that I can hear him well, especially in the loud gym.

School Cool

Making the transition from Child’s Voice to my new school close to my house was challenging. There were so many more kids, and it was hard to hear. I was shy, and I was afraid of bullies. I changed to McCord, a school that is still close to my house but smaller. I feel better now because I made new friends, and I am learning how to read and write. I can hear well in my new classroom, but some places are still more difficult for me to hear, like the cafeteria.

London’s hearing aids help her to listen and speak.

My Favorite Things

In addition to softball, I love to play games like hopscotch with my friends. I also like to play on my phone and chat with my sister on the phone. I really like wearing makeup and fancy clothes and taking pictures, too. Together, my family and I enjoy watching movies on the weekend.

Inspiration Station

My older brother Joshua inspires me. He has autism, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy. When I see him living his life despite these challenges, it motivates me. It stops me from feeling sorry for myself.

That’s Just the Way I Hear

Sometimes my friends and family are curious about my hearing aids, and that’s okay. I explain that they are my hearing aids that help me hear better. Now they understand what they are, why I have them, and why I sometimes ask, “Can you say that again?”

Who I Am

Hearing loss is a part of me. It is not something I am embarrassed of or ashamed to tell others about. I am so comfortable wearing my hearing aids because I have worn them since I was two-years-old. In fact, before bed or at the pool, I sometimes need to be reminded to take them out because I forget I have them on! Another positive part of having hearing loss is that if things are too loud (especially when my siblings are bothering me) I can take my hearing aids out. If you have hearing loss like me, you are not alone.


My goal is to finish school and become an elementary school teacher. I know that my hearing loss won’t stop me because I can do anything I put my mind to.

London is a great listener at softball practice, where her coach wears a special microphone.

Be on our next cover! info@hearingourway.com


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!

Once Upon a Red Velvet Cake DIRECTIONS CAKE INGREDIENTS 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 3 large egg whites, room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla ¾ cup milk, room temperature Pink food coloring (or color of your choice)

FROSTING • Your favorite homemade or canned buttercream frosting • Food coloring such as black and gold to decorate the ‘book’

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a rectangle cake pan (9x13). Line with parchment paper. 2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. 3. Use an electric mixer to beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat on medium-high until pale and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). 4. Add egg whites one at a time, mixing fully after each egg. Add vanilla. 5. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with flour. Fully mix after each addition. 6. Add a small amount of ffood coloring. Use a toothpick to blend, but do not overmix. 7. Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Smooth the batter down evenly. 8. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean. 9. Prepare your favorite buttercream frosting and use food coloring to divide frosting into colors for your book decoration. 10. Once cake is completely cooled, ice the entire cake in a thin layer of white icing. Chill in fridge for about 20 minutes. 11. Ice 3 sides (2 short sides, 1 long side) in white icing. Use a butter knife to draw lines through the icing to make it look like the pages of a book. 12. Using a different color icing for the book cover, ice the top and 4th side of the cake. Use a piping tip to create the spine and border and write the title. 13. Be creative and have fun- this is your story to write and your cake to decorate! 14. Take a bite and


live happily ever after!

Get baking, then send in your pics: @HearingOurWay

My Cochlear Implant Experience Part 2, by Haley H. In the last issue of Hearing Our Way, I shared my story about gaining confidence as I left high school and started college. What happened in those first days and weeks of college that helped me change into the person I am today? At first, college still felt like high school because I saw many familiar faces from school or from sports. As time went on though, I started recognizing positive differences about college. In high school, my teachers pressured me to try to make friends and pushed me to sit with people in the lunchroom. I know they were just trying to help, but it made me feel even worse about myself. In college, I don’t have teachers watching my every move. It has lifted a load off of me that I didn’t even realize was there; I don’t feel the pressure to fit in with my classmates anymore. Now, I never have to worry about who I will sit with in the lunchroom or about eating by myself. Everyone has their own schedules, and it is okay to be independent, grab a bite on your own, and do your own thing. In high school, I felt like there was no room to have my own opinion or to be myself. I felt like people looked at me as someone with special needs. That’s why I chose to dress up everyday and stay up-to-date on fashion trends to try to fit in and be popular. In college, there is no pressure to be cool or have the nicest clothes—we can all wear our college sweatshirts! Lastly, college has given me a new perspective on things. In high school, it felt like everyone else was ‘normal’ and I was the girl with hearing loss. In college, I have met people from so many walks of life, who all have their own struggles and differences. Everyone has challenges, and everyone is just trying to get by.

COVID Un-Masked by Analia

Analia, 9, is a 4th grader from Miramar, Florida who has bilateral cochlear implants. She took time to reflect on the upcoming school year and how it may look different than usual due to COVID-19.

What do you think school will be like this year?

I think the upcoming school year will be different. I think that students will have to wear gloves and masks. I don’t think the students will be allowed to use the water fountains, and there will be absolutely no more hugging.

Are you comfortable wearing a mask?

Yes because I just want to be safe! I know that if my teachers are wearing masks, I won’t be able to see what they are saying, and that worries me.

Would you prefer online classes or going to school?

I actually prefer online classes because after class I can do activities that I want to do, but at school the classes are longer, and I’m there all day!

Will you ask for different accommodations this year?

No, I think I will only need my typical accommodations including closed captioning, a quiet room for testing, and my FM system.

Do you feel anxious about this school year?

Yes and no! Yes, because I am going to 4th grade, and I don’t know what to expect. No, because I am returning to my same school, and I will be with my friends.

Hearing loss in the time of pandemic: we want to hear your thoughts! info@hearingourway.com


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Looking for awesome educational resources designed just for kids with hearing loss? Check out TOD on Wheels, where you can find worksheets, games, teacher’s guides, and more! www.todonwheels.com • @todonwheels

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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

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.

Noralynn, 6, celebrates the third hearing anniversary of her cochlear implants. The gift of sound is the best gift of all! Happy hearing birthday, Noralynn! 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 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!

Dylan, from Afton, New York, is a high school senior with hearing

loss. He wears two hearing aids and uses an FM system in school. He loves doing outdoor activities with friends and family including fishing, hunting, riding four wheelers, and working in the woods.

When Dylan was in sixth grade, he found out he had mild sloping to severe bilateral hearing loss. Being diagnosed with hearing loss at an older age was challenging, but Dylan did not let it change who he is. He is friendly and outgoing, and he made a commitment to keep being himself. A favorite quote from one of his classroom walls is, “Nobody is you. And that is your power.” Dylan loves learning about his hearing aid technology, including the Bluetooth feature that connects with his phone. He loves talking on his phone and listening to music with his hearing aids. Not only does it sound great, but it’s also pretty cool! Dylan’s favorite accessory is his FM system. It helps him hear his teachers at school.


When Dylan grows up, he hopes to join his family’s logging business. Not only is logging a skill he was taught from a very young age, but he also values spending time with his family, and this would allow him to be with them every day.

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