Here is her story in her parents words… “Emme is our spunky six year-old daughter with bi-lateral hearing loss who wears purple hearing aids with pink molds. She started at Child’s Voice in August 2014 school year. Prior to CV, Emme was enrolled in both an Early Intervention Program in our local district as well as a Montessori Program. During her first year in the Montessori Program (age of three), her teachers came to us with concerns that they couldn’t quite put their fingers on. They felt something was wrong and recommended that we have the district test her.
We followed up on it immediately by having the district give her screening tests, which she passed, but of course failed the hearing test portion. Beginning with her newborn hearing screening Emme had failed tests, but then passed them. This was just the start of a roller coaster of failed or inconclusive tests and seeing three different ENTs before we finally had a diagnosis at age five of hearing loss.
We were relentless, but were constantly told and misinformed that she needed to be five to properly have her hearing assessed. Her hearing loss, which is relatively uncommon, is known as reverse slope or low frequency hearing loss because the slope and frequency of her loss is opposite of that seen on tests for a child or adult with typical high frequency hearing loss.
Emme is the only child in their practice to have this type of hearing loss, which is very rare. Eventually at the age of five we were finally able to get her a proper diagnosis, severe reverse slope hearing loss, requiring the addition of hearing aids. After two years in an Early Intervention Program near our home, we were seeing a lack of progress and knew we needed to find a program to help our daughter excel.
As a result of endless research, we found our way to Child’s Voice. Child’s Voice has a school model like no other we have seen. It’s a program designed for the success of kids with hearing loss. The teachers all specialize in teaching children with hearing loss and hold the necessary certifications. The curriculum is broken up into subject areas taught with the upmost focus. Every aspect of the program is language rich, inundates children with new vocabulary every week, develops a rich phonemic base with the use of the Michael Heggerty program, possesses high standards for both writing and reading, pushes children to speak in complex sentences in the classroom as well as in the home, and offers weekly self-advocacy classes that teach children to advocate for their hearing needs. The best part of CV is that it is designed only as a temporary placement, allowing for the child to enter or return to the mainstream in their home district.
We’ve had our daughter at Child’s Voice for just over five months and the results have been dramatic. Her vocabulary has increased at a rapid speed, the complexity of her sentences has been impressive, her confidence and social gains have been outstanding, her curiosity about the world around her has been sparked through the acquisition of all of this new language, and she has a new found eagerness to explain and express herself.
Everyone who surrounds our family has been amazed by the effect this school has had on her development. Child’s Voice has built a foundation for our daughter’s future, making any wish or dream a possibility, without Child’s Voice, we are very uncertain what her future would have held. We are so grateful for the amazing friendships Emme has built here and the commonality that will bond them forever. Not only has Child’s Voice changed Emme’s life, but it’s changed ours. We only hope and wish that all children with hearing loss can have this opportunity.
Emme loves singing Taylor Swifts songs; taking formal piano lessons as well as ballet/tap lessons; participating in gymnastics and soccer, and enjoys spending time with friends both those with and without hearing loss! We’ve had to work really hard to help get Emme to where she is today, but watching her succeed has been worth this fight and we won’t stop here.