December 27, 2016 | By: Uniting Parents/Coalition of Health Services, Inc.
Hearing loss occurs in 5 out of every 1,000 newborns. It is estimated that there are about 3 million children in the U.S. who have hearing loss. Kenzie Green is one of those children.
Kenzie is an active, creative 8-year-old girl from the Texas Panhandle. She attends school, likes to play outside, and enjoys swimming.
By age 4, Kenzie was having a hard time with her speech. A year later she was diagnosed with a hearing loss. Testing at her school determined that she had a speech impairment, a result of her hearing loss. Kenzie began receiving services through her school. According to her mom, Rachel Green, “Kenzie had to relearn the whole English language, so getting your child involved in early intervention therapies as soon as possible can help save a lot of time.”
Rachel first became an active advocate for her daughter after attending a PEN Project special education meeting. Through PEN, she was connected with Uniting Parents, a program that provides support, information, and case management for families.
She states that Uniting Parents has been her main support group in helping her find resources to help meet Kenzie’s needs. Through Uniting Parents, Rachel was able to get aid from the Children’s Miracle Network of Amarillo. With their help, she was able to obtain funding for speech therapy, buying an FM amplification system for their home and a new hearing aid for Kenzie.
Today, Kenzie is on track with her speech, and her communication continues to improve. However, Rachel believes that she will always be slightly behind and will need ongoing help.
Rachel is very grateful for the help she has received finding resources to improve Kenzie’s way of life, as well as for the modifications for Kenzie at school.
Rachel advises that, “talking to other parents, asking questions, going with your gut feeling on what is best for your child, and being the main advocate for your child,” are key points in bettering your child’s life and future, no matter their disability.
You can learn more about hearing loss at the Center for Hearing and Communication.