Olivia was born prematurely at just 25 weeks, weighing only one pound and two ounces. She was also born with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. At four-years-old, Olivia received her first set of hearing aids from Hearts for Hearing.
“As a child, my hearing loss was definitely more difficult to live with, as it made learning more difficult and made me feel different than everyone else. Now I see my hearing loss as something that makes me unique, and I’m able to use that to help others feel more comfortable with their disabilities.”
Today, Olivia is 23-years-old and a nursing student at the University of Central Oklahoma. She uses her hearing loss as a way to connect to others.
“I’m currently a nursing student, so I interact with many patients who have hearing loss. It’s great when I can point to my ears and show them that I’m hearing impaired as well! It puts a smile on their face during a tough time.”
Olivia is one of our many incredible Hearts for Hearing pediatric graduates. Now she receives regular follow up care for her hearing loss in our adult clinic. We are so proud of everything Olivia has accomplished!
Where are they now?
At Hearts for Hearing, early intervention (therapy for children ages one to three years) is initiated as quickly as possible after a child is diagnosed with hearing loss and fit with hearing technology. This therapy is specialized therapy called Listening and Spoken Language therapy, which entails a family coaching model including strategies to build and support the family’s choice to pursue listening and spoken language outcomes for their child.
A child with hearing loss at Hearts for Hearing has a team of professionals advocating for him (this includes a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist, pediatric audiologist and otologist) in conjunction with the child’s family and potentially others. This team regularly assesses and monitors progress in order to make a successful plan of transition from therapy as appropriate. After time, a child with hearing loss who has been in Listening and Spoken Language therapy may be ready to transition from routine therapy to less frequent services due to progress made.
As a teenager who utilizes hearing aids transitions into a more independent adult, he or she might transition services to the adult clinic at Hearts for Hearing.