I was diagnosed with profound deafness as an infant and fitted with powerful hearing aids and an FM system. Though I heard very little, my mom took me to therapy at the TALK Center for Hearing Impaired Children where Linda Daniel, Rehabilitative Audiologist, was director at the time. My mom and dad took me every week and worked with me 24/7 as a result of the parent education they received during my therapy. I was making progress, considering the extent of my loss, but my life took an important turn just before my 3rd birthday: I became Dr Peters’ first young child to receive a cochlear implant. We continued in Auditory-Verbal Therapy with Linda. Driving from Princeton, Texas, to Dallas week after week, year after year, I transformed from a child living in silence to a typical chatterbox girl. After years of diligent work learning to hear and speak, I graduated with honors from Farmersville High School.
While in high school, I entered the North Texas Optimist Club’s annual speech contest for students with hearing loss. “Why Me, Why Not Me”; those were the words that sparked something in me and made my dream very clear. I was a junior in high school when I participated in a speech contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The topic was “Why Me, Why Not Me”; I was able to use my own personal story to tell why appreciating the positives in a situation are greater than dwelling on the negatives. I talked about my disability and how I didn’t let it hinder me in anyway. After I gave that speech, I felt that that message needed to be spread and it helped me realize that I wanted to become an Audiologist and share my story with those who needed hope after hearing that their child is Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
I have just completed my Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from Stephen F. Austin State University. I have just completed my applications for graduate schools with Audiology programs. I want to specialize in rehabilitation so I can teach others to hear and speak, just as I was taught. In the meantime, I am a Special Education Assistant in Plano and I am working with some wonderful kids and gaining knowledge every day and furthering my skills in preparation for my future career in Audiology. None of this would have been possible without the help and dedication of my parents, wonderful professionals such as Linda Daniel and Dr. Peters, and for that I am grateful.