Can You Hear Me?

Hearing Awareness in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford, VA

By Noah King, Junior Reporter for Macaroni Kid Fredericksburg March 23, 2023

I wake up for school using a vibrating alarm watch and take a shower.  I am unable to hear the shower water or my parents getting up because I am deaf. I put on my cochlear implants as I get dressed and suddenly I can hear my parents getting ready for work. 

After breakfast, I get on the school bus. I have a bit of an advantage over the other kids, as I can turn the volume down on my processors using an app on my phone, or, as a last resort, just take them off if the bus is too loud! When I get to school, I set up the FM system. This connects my cochlear implants to a microphone that my teachers wear. This means that even when my classmates are being loud, I can still hear the instructions. 

Occasionally, I hear a beeping noise that means the batteries on my cochlear implants are running low. If I don’t replace the battery I go back to hearing nothing again. Whenever I watch TV or movies, I always turn the captioning on so that I can understand it better. Obviously, you can imagine based on what you’ve read so far that whenever the captioning doesn’t work, I am totally oblivious to what is going on in the TV show or movie unless my parents recap it for me. 

Some of the hobbies I enjoy are playing the cello, performing in plays, and participating in my church choir. Are these things you thought a deaf person couldn’t do? 

Hearing Awareness Week was March 1-7, 2023. While it's probably something you take for granted, I am very aware of life with hearing loss. I failed my newborn hearing screening due to complications from my premature birth, making me one of the 3 in every 1000 newborns with hearing loss. I got my first cochlear implant when I was almost two and my second when I was 4. I worked very hard learning to listen and speak and I continue to work hard to do all of the things that I want to do. Nonetheless, I am still a very normal teenager living a (mostly) normal life who will let nothing stand in my way. 

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