En Voz Alta was created to provide reassuring support through regular gathering with other families dealing with the issue and offers experience and knowledge through their professional network and its combined resources to form En Voz Alta.
When we began this journey, I remember saying, “I can't wait to have a conversation with her...”
Sabrina came into this world on her own terms...very determined, hyper, strong-willed and full of warmth, love and excitement! The day we found out she didn't pass the hearing test and the diagnosis was confirmed...dad and I didn't have much time to feel sorry for ourselves...because it wasn't about us and we knew that.
Her journey began with hearing aids, which assisted her for about a year. Then she became a candidate for cochlear implants and that's when she took off and we haven't looked back since!! She was three years old and I can still see the look she gave me as she was carried into the operating room, those innocent and scared eyes wondering why mom was letting her go with a stranger. And that was the day it all began, a "rebirth" you could say... she was starting all over again. Technology had given Sabrina a beautiful opportunity to hear.
We will forever be grateful to the Regional Day School for the Deaf and the awesome program that jump started Sabrina and many others! Through this journey, we have been blessed with wonderful people (past and present)...teachers, aides, speech therapists, audiologists, doctors, family, friends and supporters...all who have played a significant role in her growth and success.
From learning how to listen, how to hear, how to talk..things we all take for granted, we didn’t know what to expect. She began with limited words, short phrases, and there were times we just didn’t understand what she was trying to say. Frustrating times. When on outings, I would see other families conversing with their children and wondered if that would ever be us.
It hasn't been an easy journey...there have been many struggles, many decisions and of course, many mistakes. Just when you think you got it all figured out and you’re on the right track, here comes another obstacle--it's never ending, or so it seems. Through them though, Sabrina has stayed strong and happy. She has evolved, at times, a little less confident and even shy...and if you know Sabrina, that isn’t her. She has had to learn how to deal with being teased, left out, pushed to the back of the class, almost alienated...but, she hasn't given up and neither have we. Mom and dad are her biggest fans and will advocate for her...the fight will never end and we, as a family, will never give in!
Sabrina’s innocence has given her the ability to tolerate, yet, you can see some of the affects. But don’t feel sorry for her, she doesn’t...she keeps going and The Conversations Don’t End... keeps trying. And the conversations...well, let me tell you...they are AWESOME !! We can all sit at the dinner table and talk about our day, something I will admit, I wasn’t sure was going to be possible.
There are even times when dad and I want to press the pause button on her...she has so much to say!!
Sabrina is full of dreams and ambition, she is proof that her inability to have normal hearing will not dictate or disable her. She is always ready to encourage others, giving them hope and confidence.
Our journey has not ended yet, there is still so much to accomplish. We are excited and look forward to see what all Sabrina will accomplish and we will make sure the conversations don’t end.
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