Alumni Success Story, Meet Hayden Lund

Alumni_LundHalloweenAlumni Success Story

Hi I’m Hayden Lund. I’m ten years old and I was born deaf. I was also born with beautiful blue eyes which are a big hit with the ladies.I am currently a fifth grader at Lincoln Elementary School in St. Charles.. but my first and favorite school is Child’s Voice. I graduated from Child’s Voice in 2010.

But before I go on let me tell you how I got to Child’s Voice. I was born in Colorado and my parents found out I was deaf after I failed the newborn hearing screening in the hospital. I was sent to an audiologist a few weeks later who confirmed I had a severe/profound sensorineural hearing loss. My mom and dad were overwhelmed and not sure what to do next. Mom says she remembers being sad that I would never hear her sing lullabies–even though she says she can’t carry a tune. The same day the audiologist broke the news about my deafness, dad received a call from a friend in Chicago about a job opportunity. Dad wasn’t really looking to switch careers or leave our home in Colorado but decided to do the interview anyway. While Dad was at the interview he was told about a great school for deaf children that happened to be just down the street from where dad would be working. Dad had new hope for my future and long story short ended up taking the job and we started our new life in Illinois.

That began the whirlwind of doctor visits and at 2 months old I was fitted with hearing aids. I didn’t get much benefit from the hearing aids–mom says I mostly just liked to pull them out and try and eat them–and so at 1 year old I was fitted with my first cochlear implant and soon after that started in the Early Intervention program at Child’s Voice. Mom says it took me a few days to get used to being away from her, but with my trusty blankie by my side and great teachers I soon was happy and content. Mom and Dad toured the school before I began and said learning about Child’s Voice gave them new hope and a sense of peace and direction. They knew this was the right choice for me and our family. Mom says she had tears of joy in her eyes as she walked the halls of Child’s Voice and heard all the beautiful sounds coming from a school for deaf children. She had never been so happy to be in a place filled with so much noise!

I got my second implant at age 3 and moved up to the “Big” school. Although it was a lot of work and I went home very tired after school every day I have great memories of my time at Child’s Voice. I spent a total of 4 years there before transitioning to Lincoln Elementary School in first grade. I loved playing with blocks and music time, doing Michael Haggerty with Miss Jeanette and playing with my friends on the playground. I remember awesome field trips to Sonny Acres pumpkin farm and learning how to ice skate from Dylan the hockey player.

Alumni_LundGraduationBecause of the things I learned at Child’s Voice I am now a force for good in the world. I love to read, write stories and draw. I play the viola. I play tennis and I love to swim. I also love to talk and I’m looking forward to taking my first acting class this fall. Maybe one day you’ll see me on the big screen.

I am so grateful for my time at Child’s Voice. It was there I learned to listen and speak and learned important self-advocacy skills that will help me throughout my life. I’m grateful for my Child’s Voice family…Mrs. Sarah, Mrs. Jeanette, Mrs. Fai, Mrs. Amy, Mrs. Cheryl, Mrs. Elsa, Miss Beth, Mrs. Wendy and Dr. Michelle. Because of their love and support I know I can do anything.

Child’s Voice has made a world of difference in my life and the life of my family. Mom and Dad say they will forever be grateful to all the amazing people at Child’s Voice and the many opportunities it gave me!