Hearing Our Way: Winter 2020

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The magazine for kids and teens with hearing loss Cozy

Winter 2020

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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 • Gabe Mark it with an E • Evelyn Books We Love • Eva With special thanks to all of our featured H W friends

Dear Readers,

goodbye… nk anyone is too sad to say thi n’t do I d an , 20 20 of d It’s the en As you reflect enges, one after the next. all ch ny ma of l ful r yea d it was a wil bad? Did you any good that came from the d fin u yo can r, yea s thi s like back on or learn about new resource ily, fam ur yo h wit e tim re e of social learn a new skill, spend mo e outside, taking advantag tim re mo nd spe u yo Did , we will all captioning for video calls? came? Now that it’s winter s nth mo ld co the e for be a bad distancing in the fresh air , but it doesn’t have to be ide ins e tim re mo lot a ing probably be spend , cuddling up g a long cozy winter vin ha ce bra em we st ge thing. Instead, I sug good TV. of hot chocolate and some under blankets with a cup ter because he no problem embracing win s ha les ac st Ob ng mi co Gabe from Over s has many ge student with hearing aid lle co is Th ! ing ski c rdi No loves the sport of as well. ying and studying pre-med pla e on mb tro ing lud inc , diverse interests good book me, but not if you have a ho at e tim of s lot nd spe its new It may sound boring to ng us out with both—with lpi he is x tfli Ne . tch wa to to read and a great show w’s host, Marley Dias, is the ed in TV We L ve. The sho tur fea series e Love. Eva’s Bookshelf in Books W on ok bo est lat the of r autho , and ders, their families, teachers rea ul erf nd wo r ou of all to me ! new year. 2021, here we co the in ss ine pp ha d an h healt audiologists. I wish you all

www.HearingOurWay.com info@hearingourway.com PO Box 13, Greenlawn, New York 11740 Volume 7, No. 4 ©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.


, 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: Rebecca Murray


YOU ARE AMAZING! You can do anything you set your mind to.

books We L

ve: Eva’s Bookshelf

sey who Eva is a 12-year-old girl from New Jerhea ring loss

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

Inspiration Stati


a space “I’m working to create lude and where it feels easy to inc make imagine Black girls and ain Black girls like me the m .” characters of our lives —Marley Dias

YOU! is an autobiography MARLEY DIAS GETS IT DON E: AND SO CAN Marley shares her story of written by 15-year-old Marley Dias. e action. She noticed that being a normal girl who decided to tak ool that featured main there weren’t many books in her sch f. Marley characters with dark skin like hersel she and , wanted change and racial justice to decided to make that happen. She got ed work creating her own campaign call d rea you en #1000blackgirlbooks. Wh rney, jou Marley’s book, you get to follow her d pire learn about Marley herself, and get ins this along the way. I recommend you read ion act ing tak book if you like books about in, eve and standing up for what you beli and and if you are ready to make a change want to learn how!

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g Blac k Vo ices is a Bo okmarks: Celebrat ins that celebrates two

new Netflix original serie d reading ! Each episode an things we love: diversity written by a Black author ok features a children’s bo rity. The series, hosted leb ce k ac erread aloud by a Bl spark kid-friendly conv to s pe ho , as Di ley ar by M h and antiracism throug sations about equality ion and additional mat reading. For more infor kmarks.com. oo ixB tfl Ne resources, visit

In Hearing Our Way magazine, kids and teens with hearing loss are the main characters. How are you working to be the main character in your life? Have you seen kids like you represented as main characters? Write to Us: info@hearingourway.com

Dear Sophie, Hi, my name is Lily, and I am 9-years-old. I live in British Columbia, Canada, with my 11-year-old brother and my dog named Ninja. I love track and field, reading, writing, and playing on my tablet. My hearing loss is caused by Enlarged Vestibular Aquaduct Syndrome (EVA). As soon as I was diagnosed as a baby, I got my first hearing aids. When I was 3-years-old, my hearing dropped in my right ear, so I got a cochlear implant. When I was 5, the hearing in my left ear dropped, too, so I got my second cochlear implant. My cochlear implants really helped my hearing a lot. I can hear quite well with them on! When I take them off, I can’t hear anything, not even my brother yelling! At school I use a Phonak touchscreen DM. I also have a soundfield tower, audio hub, and a handheld mic. My equipment helps me hear my best. There are two other students with hearing loss in my school. During assemblies, we connect our equipment to one DM system. I learned ASL when I was in daycare. I practice it each summer when I go to a camp for kids with hearing loss. When I grow up, I would like to be a preschool teacher for students with hearing loss. I would also like to be an author, astronaut, or police officer! Someone who inspires me is Helen Keller. She was deaf and blind, but she showed people she could do things just like anyone else. I wrote a speech about her, and I got chosen to present it in front of the school!

Like Helen Keller, my hearing loss has not and will not stop me from doing what I love! Love,


, to So p hie To w rite lette r to ur e mail yo ourway.co m , a ring tured in fo @ h e ay b e fea m u o y ay! an d g Ou r W in r a e H in

W rds, W rds, W rds Christmas came early

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 Christmas came early and think Christmas isn’t on December 25th this year... nope! Christmas came early means that something great happened anytime earlier in the year, such as receiving a special gift, good news, or something else very positive. Like this: “After years of wanting a dog, we got a new puppy over the summer. It was like Christmas came early for my family!”


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

H W does Gabe hear?

With his trombone in hand, stethoscope around his neck, and two hearing aids!

All About Me

GABE’s Faves H BOOKS Ranger’s Apprentice Harry Potter The Hunger Games

H MUSIC Lecrea Andy Mineo

H TV SHOW: The Dick Van Dyke Show The Office House M.D.

H FOOD: Mac & cheese

H PLACES: Marco Island, Florida Catalina Island, California


Hi, I’m Gabe, and I am 18-years-old. I am a college freshman from Casper, Wyoming with a music scholarship to play trombone in the college band. I am currently a pre-med major on the path to becoming a doctor. In my spare time I enjoy riding my motorcycle, playing tennis, and Nordic skiing in the winter.

Hearing My Way

I was diagnosed with hearing loss at fouryears-old and have worn hearing aids ever since. I have been mainstreamed all my life in my home public school and attend college with accommodations for my hearing loss.

Overcoming Obstacles

Luckily, I haven’t had any big obstacles that stand out, but every day with hearing loss presents new challenges. I get frustrated when I’m with my friends and I miss something that is said. Sometimes when I ask them to repeat it, the conversation has already moved on, and they are on a new topic. It’s most frustrating when it’s a funny joke and everyone is laughing, but I miss out because I didn’t hear the joke.

Advocate & Accommodate

I have learned that by advocating for myself and the accommodations I need, my listening experience is much more enjoyable. Before school started, I met with the disability services counselor from my college. Unlike my 504 plan meetings in high school (where I had a big support team and my teacher of the deaf led the meeting), the college meeting was one-on-one, and I had to request all of the accommodations myself. The counselor then wrote them up and sent them to my teachers, and I have copies of the papers as well. I requested seating in the very front row of classes. My college ordered classroom microphones for the teachers to wear so I can hear them better. Outside of my accommodations, I carve out time in my day to take care of my

Friends Like Me

Meeting other kids with hearing loss that I can relate to has been a great experience. In high school, I participated in the Academic Bowl for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This was a jeopardy-style trivia competition. As part of the Wyoming team, I traveled to Iowa, Washington, D.C., Arizona, and Hawaii and met teens with hearing loss from all around the country. We keep in touch through texting and social media. If I didn’t have hearing loss, I would never have had this amazing experience, so having hearing loss definitely has its benefits!

Gabe earned a college music scholarship for playing trombone.

come out and if I can hear without them. I tell them yes, they do come out, and I can only really understand people without my hearing aids if they are standing very close to me and I can see their lips.

Inspiration Station

Gabe enjoys riding his motorcycle.

hearing aids, such as cleaning them and packing extra batteries, to make sure I can always hear as best as possible, and I ask teachers to repeat themselves if I miss something.


Because of the pandemic, we all have to wear masks at school. The teachers either wear masks or face shields. As a part of my accommodations, my teachers wear clear masks if not wearing a face shield, and they use microphones. The lecture notes are posted online, and it’s helpful to read back over them if I think I missed something. If I need to do any online classes over Zoom, I have researched captioning systems I can use such as Otter or Google Live translate. The pandemic has presented challenges, but I am facing them head-on.

That’s Just the Way I Hear

If people ask about my hearing aids, I explain that I am hard of hearing and that my hearing aids help me to hear better. Sometimes people ask if my hearing aids

I look up to Tim Tebow as a role model because even though he only played in the NFL for a short period of time, he became famous for his character and faith. I think that expressing your faith to the world on such a big platform takes a lot of bravery, and I can relate to Tebow’s beliefs and think he is an inspiration. My father and grandfather are also role models to me. They both have hearing loss but grew up without hearing aids or with very little access to sound. Even with less resources than I had, they worked hard and made it through, and it makes me thankful for my access to today’s technology.

“Hearing loss will not stop me from my plans; in fact, it makes me more determined to accomplish my dreams…”

This Is Me

Hearing loss is a part of me. It has made me self-sufficient because I have to advocate for myself in school and in day-to-day life. I have to understand my own needs and how to explain them to others. I am the only one who knows exactly what will help me to succeed, so I have to help myself rather than waiting for others to help me.


I hope to become a pharmacist or radiologist in the future. Hearing loss will not stop me from my plans; in fact, it makes me more determined to accomplish my dreams to prove that people with hearing loss can be anything they want to be.

Gabe gets handy in shop class.

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!

Oh, Canada! Butter Tart DIRECTIONS 1. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in* the shortening and butter until it looks like coarse oatmeal.

INGREDIENTS 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup shortening ½ cup unsalted butter 1 large egg 1 teaspoon white vinegar 1 cup cold water

FILLING ¾ cup packed brown sugar 1/3 cup unsalted butter 1 Tablespoon whipping cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 large egg Optional: ½ cup chopped pecans, walnuts, raisins, or chocolate chips


2. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the egg and vinegar. Then add cold water until the liquid reaches the 1 cup line. Slowly stir in the liquid to the flour mixture, adding just enough to make the dough stick together. 3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently into a ball. Divide into two equal portions. Tightly wrap each portion with saran wrap. Place in fridge to chill one hour. 4. Take the dough out and roll on a floured surface until about 1/8” thick. Cut out 4” circles. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more circles until you have 24. 5. Fit the circles into a muffin pan and place pan in fridge until ready to fill. 6. Ask a parent to help position a rack on the lowest part of the oven. Preheat to 375 degrees. 7. To make the filling, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar on the stove over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Remove from stove and stir in cream and vanilla. Let cool to touch (about 5 minutes). Once cooled, whisk in the egg. 8. Take pan out of fridge. If adding an optional filling, add it directly to pastry shells. Then pour filling in each shell until half filled. 9. Bake 13-15 minutes or until crust is lightly golden around edges and filling is bubbling. Remove and let cool completely in pan. Use a wire cooling rack to flip out the tarts from the pan. * Cut in: distribute tiny pieces of a solid fat such as butter into flour using a cutting motion.

Enjoy this delicious Canadian treat from my country!

Get baking, then send in your pics: @HearingOurWay

COVID Un-Masked By Mrs. Kayla Flaherty

This year, many teachers have had to get creative with virtual learning for their students. Mrs. Flaherty, an itinerant teacher in Fairfax, Virginia, created an amazing virtual classroom, complete with a Hearing Our Way bookshelf! Here are her tips for creating an interactive virtual classroom that kids will love.

What were your goals with creating your virtual classroom?

I wanted to create an interactive tool for instruction that would help my students meet their goals, including self-advocacy, writing, reading, and vocabulary, in a fun and motivating way. The first lesson I did was to share my virtual office space featuring personal things about me so that students could get to know me and I could get to know them. This helped bring the classroom to life and gave it a personal touch.

What can kids do in your virtual classroom?

In addition to exploring my virtual office, kids can visit the audiology office for amplification troubleshooting. There is also a link for helpful tips for parents. There is an interactive bookshelf and a full classroom to explore including virtual lessons to work on.

What are your tips for creating a virtual classroom?

Start with creating your own Bitmoji to give your classroom a personal feel. I change my Bitmoji often, such as placing her in different positions in the classroom and changing her clothes based on the weather. This helps my classroom feel ‘alive!’ Use Google Slides to create a dream classroom. Include clipart and other images you may need. You can also embed links on the images to take students to other locations, like I did with Hearing Our Way!

To feature Hearing Our Way in your virtual classroom, you must be a paid subscriber. Inquire today! info@hearingourway.com

What do students think?

My students have told me that the virtual classroom is very interactive and a great place to learn. They like that even when we’re not working together at a specific time, they can go into the classroom anytime to read stories and magazines, explore their hearing loss and devices in the audiology office, and learn more about their teacher. Even parents like to log in and explore the room and have been learning basic sign language through video links. They also learn to troubleshoot equipment through the virtual audiology office.

Readers, are you using a virtual classroom this year? What are your favorite parts of your virtual classroom? Design your own virtual classroom, and send in your pics to 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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Kennedy, 14, is a ninth grader with bilateral cochlear implants from Grafton, Illinois. She loves spending time with friends and family, binge-watching Netflix, and learning

to play tennis. For her eighth grade final art project, Kennedy was asked to draw something that was important to her, and this is what she drew.

Kennedy is an alum of Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) in St. Louis, MO. www.cid.edu

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Answers page 12

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.

Tegan, 8, is celebrating seven years of hearing for her right ear and six years for her left. Please send hearing birthday wishes to Tegan, all the way in South Africa! 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!

Michael, from Kings Park, New York, is a seventh grader with hearing loss. In his left

ear, he has moderate-severe hearing loss and wears a hearing aid. In his right ear, he has profound hearing loss and wears a cochlear implant, but that wasn’t always the case. Michael first got his hearing aid when he was five-months-old. At the time, he had normal hearing in the left ear. After Michael’s second birthday, his left ear went from normal hearing to severe-to-profound hearing loss, and he got his cochlear implant. Now he loves his cochlear implant, and sometimes he likes to switch between the behind-the-ear and off-the-ear processors. At school he uses a Phonak Roger DM as his FM system. After school, he works with a speech pathologist, Fara Augustover, M.A. CCC-SLP, at Island Wide Speech, on things like hearing from far distances and listening with noise in the background. For fun, Michael likes to watch YouTube videos, play the bass, and play soccer and deck hockey. When he grows up, he would like to be an engineer that designs cars, or a scientist, or a soccer player, or maybe all three! He wants other kids with hearing loss to know that they can do anything they want to do. Michael says, “Never give up! Never have a fixed mindset!

Always have an open mind!”


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