The Treu Family
We are the Treu Family. We are recent transplants to Arizona. Blake works as a Tax Technology Analyst and Andrea works from home as a Project Manager. We are the parents of two hard of hearing little girls. Our first child, Natalie, was born full-term, no complications and failed the newborn screening. We didn’t think much of it and left the hospital with a common saying in our thoughts: “it’s just water in her ears”, especially since we do not have any history of hearing loss in our family. After more screenings and an ABR test, Natalie was diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss in her right ear and moderate to profound hearing loss in her left ear. She was fitted with hearing aids at three months old. Around the time she turned one we had an MRI and CT scan that confirmed she has EVA and Mondini and through genetic testing, we confirmed she has Pendred Syndrome. She received her cochlear implant on her left ear at 16 months. Natalie is currently 3 and talks up a storm, loves princesses, singing and dancing as well as making her little sister laugh. She also just started preschool! Julia joined our family last year and also failed the newborn screening tests. With a 25% chance of her also having Pendred Syndrome we immediately scheduled an ABR test to confirm her hearing loss. She has a mild to severe hearing loss in her right ear and a moderate to severe hearing loss in her left ear. She was fitted with hearing aids at two months. Julia is starting to say more words, growing up too quickly and has us all wrapped around her fingers.
The Foulger Family
We are the Foulger Family. There is Gavin who is 29 and works as a consultant for CSS international, Gena who is 28 and works part time as a registration coordinator for Race Place Events and enjoys being a full time mom, and then there is our sweet daughter Macie who is a busy 18 month old. Macie was born with a mild/moderate bilateral conductive hearing loss. She wears hearing aids and has had them since she was 7 months old. We have been thrilled with how much Macie has progressed since she has had her hearing aids. At this stage in her life we focus a lot on language development. She keeps us busy and is becoming a very active toddler. As a family we enjoy going on bike rides, swimming, going to Costco to sample all the goodies, playing at the park, and going to the zoo.
The Cartwright Family
We have two daughters. Cassie is 11 and Emmy is 7. Emmy failed her newborn hearing screenings at birth. The nurses told us not to worry, and we didn’t. There was no reason for us to believe that our daughter would have a hearing loss. No one in our family is deaf, there were no complications with the pregnancy, and Cassie, our oldest was hearing. Still, we continued with testing and at 4 months, received the news that Emmy had a profound hearing loss. She was fit with hearing aids and received no benefit. She was enrolled in an oral school at 5 months old. She received her first implant at 13 months old. At 4 1/2, Emmy graduated from her school and was ready to be mainstreamed. She started pre-school at her sister’s charter school. Emmy was bilaterally implanted at 6 years old. She is now in second grade and doing great. She is in a Girl Scout troop and takes Karate lessons. She loves to do anything outside and has an amazing sense of humor. It’s been a long couple of years, but well worth it. We wouldn’t trade our experience for anything.
The Rawlings Family
We were first aware that our daughter, Evie, might be deaf or hard of hearing at her initial hospital screening the day she was born– this was later confirmed by an audiologist. Not knowing anyone who was deaf or hard of hearing left us feeling lost, and we did not know where to start. The audiologist provided our family some pamphlets, one for Arizona Hands & Voices. After my first conversation with them, I felt instantly at ease. They enrolled our family in the Guide by My Side program and connected us with a Parent Guide. Our Parent Guide, Cheryl, has been instrumental in so many ways. She passes no judgment, answers the hard questions, and offers valuable insight. I found not only guidance and an ear to bend, but community in Arizona Hands & Voices. We have also been able to meet other families that have been on our journey– families that have walked in our shoes! Additionally, we have been introduced to DHH Heroes– thriving, successful deaf and hard of hearing adults in Arizona. They also offer a monthly story reading class for deaf and hard of hearing kids of all ages, educational panels, etc. Our family has gained so much from Arizona Hands & Voices, they turned something that could have been scary into an amazing journey, and we are so grateful for them.
The Willa Family– Our story starts with our first born son Kaidan. Kaidan was born in August of 2003. Several hours after he was born our pediatrician alerted us to a potential problem. Kaidan was born with a white forelock of hair and bright blue eyes both of which were classic signs of Waardenberg Syndrome. Kaidan would go on to fail all of his newborn hearing screening. At 48 hours old we had him tested at the House Ear Institute where they confirmed him to be profoundly deaf in both ears. Not sure where to turn for answers we were recommended to the John Tracy Clinic. We decide that we wanted Kaidan to be oral so at 6 weeks old he was fitted with his first pair of hearing aids. By age 1 the hearing aids were still not a benefit. At that time Kaidan qualified and received a cochlear implant on his right ear. The results were amazing. At age 2 Kaidan received his second implant and again the results were similar. Kaidan attended both the John Tracey clinic in LA and Desert Voices in Phoenix. Last year we mainstreamed Kaidan in a Pre-K class and he is doing great. He loves to go to school and has made a lot of friends. We have been very blessed to have had so many people help along the way both in schools and health care providers.
The Bassett Family
Tyler is our first boy. He failed the newborn hearing screening, and was diagnosed with certain hearing loss at 2 months old. He uses bilateral hearing aids and has learned to speak in Desert Voices Oral Deaf Program. He has attended Desert Voices since he was 11 months old. He does marvelous and amazing in school with his auditory training and speech. He received a cochlear implant when he was 2 and 1/2 years old and he’s had it for over a year now. He was diagnosed to be severe to profound hearing loss by genetics (Connexin 30 deletion genes).
Kasey is our second boy. He failed the newborn hearing screening, and was diagnosed with a mild hearing loss at 4 weeks old. He uses bilateral hearing aids and has learned to speak in Desert Voices. He has attended Desert Voices since he was 6 weeks old. He makes an incredible progress with his speech and auditory training. He was diagnosed to be mild hearing loss by genetics (Connexin 26 and missing gene). Both my husband and I are deaf. The boys are very good with code switching their communication with us. They use both speech and sign language at home.
Los Santos Chavez
Tenemos dos niños: Alexa de 1 año y 7 meses y Juan Daniel de 5 años Ambos fallaron el examen de audicion a los 3 dias de nacidos y fueron diagnosticados con perdida profunda auditiva. Al principio fue dificil porque no sabiamos cual seria el proceso a seguir pero con la ayuda de Christina Santanna (nuestra consejera de padres de familia) fue mas facil completar el proceso de Implante Coclear de ambos. Actualmente Juan Daniel asiste a Kinder el ya dice muchas palabras, aunque su proceso es lento ya estamos viendo resultados. Por parte de Alexa esta siendo mas facil ya que ella empezo a asistir a Desert Voices a los 8 meses, ella usaba audifonos desde los 3 meses, los cuales no le ayudaron mucho, y fue cuando la audiologa nos dijo que ella era candidata para el implante. Despues de que le activaron la maquina a Alexa pasaron unos dias, y empezamos a ver respuesta de parte de ella de que estaba escuchando. Ahora tenemos mas experiencia y sabemos que con un poco mas de esfuerzo ellos pueden tener muchos beneficio de el Implante Coclear. Me siento muy agradecida con el gran equipo de profesionales tanto como Doctores, Terapistas, Audiologas y demas, que hicieron posible que, tanto como mis hijos y otros ninos, con perdida auditiva puedan escuchar. Realmente el Implante Coclear nos ha cambiado la vida, es los mejor que nos ha podido pasar.
The Epstein Hollabaugh Family
Greg and Michael are off to college leaving Eric at home enjoying the status of only child. Although the boys are older now, we still remember the days of seemingly endless appointments with a string of doctors to find out if Michael could hear. For Eric, in contrast, we found out he was deaf within two weeks of his birth. With wonderfully supportive friends, family, and service providers, lots of patience and humor, our family thrived. Yes, we lived through hearing aids in the garbage disposal, FM receiver lost on the playground, hours of driving to speech therapy, even more hours driving to meet other families with children who were deaf and hard of hearing (DHH), learning to sign bedtime stories, combined 27 years of IEP meetings, even relocating our family so that the boys could access better services. Michael and Eric went to every kind of school imaginable: neighborhood charter, state school for the deaf; with & without DHH programs; with & without interpreters and FM systems. Now Michael attends Carnegie Mellon University, studying theater set design. Eric starts his sophomore year at our neighborhood high school. We been through the extra-curriculars as well: piano, saxophone & violin lessons, soccer, art class, drama club, Boy Scouts, Academic Bowl, community service, church camp, driver’s ed, martial arts, summer reading program at the public library. Along the way we have met amazing, wonderful people who have touched our lives in so many ways. Among those people is the very special group of parents with children who are deaf and hard of hearing; the ones who really get it.