A Family’s Journey
Tommy and his family recently shared their Child’s Voice experience to help in raising support through a mailing that was sent to the Child’s Voice family and network. Here is their story…
For our family, this time of year has always meant, “Back to School.” From our own personal school days then into our careers as teachers. The first day of Kindergarten can be a nerve-wracking one for any parent. Once you drop off your son or daughter at school, questions fill your mind… What is he doing now? Is he listening to the teacher? Will he eat a good lunch? Are the other kids being kind, and becoming his friend?
Just like all the Child’s Voice parents before us, we had all these worries as our son Tommy started Kindergarten this year. But, because of the staff, alumni, past parents and generous supporters, Tommy is ready and his transition has been filled with unfathomable pride. Tommy is deaf; and because of Child’s Voice, we hear his intelligible speech and see him advocating for himself with his teacher and classmates.
Tommy passed his hearing tests at birth, however, at 19 months of age, he wasn’t uttering a word. After another hearing test, we were thrust into a world we knew nothing about. Time moved slowly as we learned more about the severity of Tommy’s hearing loss and began to seek professional support to manage his development.
Often we heard, “He will be fine.” This brought little comfort until we visited Child’s Voice for the first time. We instantly felt welcomed on that tour and received support, resources and hope. The message from Child’s Voice was much more than a promise that Tommy would be fine. On that first visit, Dr. Michele (the Executive Director of Child’s Voice), stated with absolute confidence, “Child’s Voice will change Tommy’s life.”
And it did!
Tommy began his Child’s Voice journey in the Early Intervention Program. And we saw benefits right away, in fact, Tommy spoke his very first words at Child’s Voice! He made incredible progress in just a few years at Child’s Voice. Through his determination, hard work and the tireless efforts of the staff, Tommy not only developed language and listening skills, but also blossomed socially and developed advocacy skills that will continue to help him throughout his academic career.
We are witnessing the amazing results of our son’s education at Child’s Voice every day. Tommy learned to listen and to speak. He is a happy, smiling boy, who is making new friends, asking questions and learning to serve as his own advocate.
Tommy started Kindergarten this fall with his neighborhood friends and is excited to see his older brother at lunch and recess. Something that at times, we never thought would be possible.
Child’s Voice changed Tommy’s life, and in the process, our lives as well. We are forever grateful.
Brian and Tricia Clifton
If you’d like to help children just like Tommy, please donate today. Click here to make a donation now.