See and HEAR the proof...
How beautiful are the voices of those who value sound?
AFTER 50 YEARS OF SERVING DEAF CHILDREN IN THE MID-SOUTH, HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN HAVE GRADUATED FROM MOSD AND HAVE BECOME PRODUCTIVE CITIZENS IN OUR COMMUNITY. THEIR JOURNEYS ARE THE PROOF OF INVESTING IN EARLY INTERVENTION.
Aurice was diagnosed at 8 weeks old with hearing loss and received hearing aids at 3 months old. Like many other students, Aurice had a progressive hearing loss, making her a candidate for cochlear implants. With the help of her audiologist, teachers and therapists at MOSD, she learned language and was able to mainstream into Immaculate Conception Cathedral School. Reading is her favorite subject. She plays piano, soccer, basketball, ballet, and she is working on her yellow belt in Taekwondo. She loves Star Wars and Pokémon. Aurice is able to talk just like her hearing peers, equipping her for an independent life.
Abbey was born profoundly deaf and received one cochlear implant at age 2. Early intervention, audiological services, and therapy at MOSD prepared Abbey to mainstream into her local kindergarten program. Abbey stopped receiving speech therapy by 2nd grade because her clarity of speech was parallel to that of her hearing peers. She graduated from high school in May 2016 and is now enrolled in the Shackhols Honors College at Mississippi State University. She has received a full scholarship from the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program and is majoring in elementary education.
Brantley attended MOSD in the early 90s when audiological technology was beginning to advance and improve. Even with having just one cochlear implant, specialized teachers and therapists helped him learn language. He was able to mainstream into Bartlett Elementary with no need for sign language. He attended University of Memphis and was active in the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc and Alpha Kappa Psi business professional fraternity. He is a songwriter, comedian, and currently works at the Army Management Staff Colllege. "I found my way to be one of a kind."
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Marlee has dance practice each Thursday after school. There are so many miracles wrapped up inside of our weekly routine that for many other children, is just a typical activity. For Marlee, dancing to music she hears is anything but typical. Diagnosed with hearing loss at one month old and progressing to profoundly deaf by four months, Marlee’s family feared she would not be able to participate in many activities that hearing children enjoy. Marlee began therapy at Memphis Oral School for the Deaf when she was four months old and the outlook for her future began to change. She received bilateral cochlear implants two days after her first birthday and continued therapy at MOSD until she began in their full time preschool program at just 22 months old. “The hardest thing I have had to do is to send Marlee to school every day at such a young age, but that first year confirmed what I knew in my heart--that MOSD would change her life.” In her very first year of school, Marlee experienced 14 months of language growth in only 7 months. “We witness miracles in her life every day because of the instruction Marlee has received at school. Our family is forever thankful for Memphis Oral School for the Deaf for the hope it gave us in the beginning, the communication skills and confidence it has given Marlee, and the lifelong friendships our family has made.” Marlee loves to swim, dance and sing. She wants to be a teacher, baseball player, and a dancer when she grows up.
Brittany and her oldest brother were both born profoundly deaf to hearing parents. Brittany received one cochlear implant when she was four years old, missing several years of critical language development. Through aural and speech therapy, Brittany developed language, allowing her to lead an independent life. Brittany mainstreamed into her local kindergarten in the early 1990's and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Memphis in 2009. For more than 5 years, Brittany held the position of Engagement Manager at Cochlear Americas which gave her the opportunity to travel around the world educating people with hearing loss and sharing the benefits of cochlear implants. Brittany joined the MOSD team in January 2018 as a Development Associate and she is forever grateful for this career opportunity to serve where it all started for Brittany! For fun, Brittany loves sports and is very competitive!
Owen was born on February 14, 2013, the perfect valentine to his parents. Hours after he was born, his family knew they would be walking a road with lots of new challenges. With no history of hearing loss in their family, it was a shock when Owen failed his newborn hearing screening. Owen’s listening journey did not begin right away because his family had to address other medical issues that Owen was born with. After extensive procedures and additional testing, Owen’s hearing loss was finally diagnosed. “As a mother, I was terrified. The University of Memphis discovered that he was bilaterally profoundly deaf. We tried hearing aids, which didn’t work. Finally, we were told he needed cochlear implants. It was the best thing that has ever happened to us and it was such a success!” Even though Owen began to hear when he was 15 months old, Owen’s spoken language skills grew exponentially and after 3 years at MOSD, he has age-appropriate language compared to his hearing peers. “We are SO thrilled with how far he has come, thanks to our MOSD family.” Owen LOVES being outdoors! He loves riding tractors, hunting, fishing, planting, and playing all kinds of ball! He loves to sing and dance and when it’s raining, he likes to play “teacher” with his sister, Kynlee.
Olivia was born profoundly deaf and received cochlear implants when she was 12 months old. Just before her 2nd birthday, Olivia began MOSD Preschool and her spoken
language journey. While hesitant at first, Olivia’s family saw the long days at school pay off.
“When she started Ms. Abby's class, she could only say a few words such as ‘uh-oh’ and ‘Momma’. By the end of her first year at MOSD, she was saying complete sentences such as, ‘I want more snack, please.’ Olivia’s vocabulary and
articulation increased tremendously by her 2nd year. She began reciting poems, nursery rhymes, and song lyrics.”
Olivia’s progress with spoken language has given her family hope and confidence for her future. Most recent testing revealed a growing vocabulary that is advanced for her age when compared to normal hearing children. She has the spoken
language skills to enter kindergarten in May completely independently.
“Most people do not realize she is deaf when they talk to her. This is what MOSD has done for our family-- they have taken a profoundly deaf child who could only speak a few words and turned her into a little girl who can talk for hours! “
Olivia loves music and singing. She loves to read, listen to stories, and loves to tell jokes. Olivia wants to be a mermaid or a doctor when she grows up— or “retired like Grams”.
“Thank you, MOSD, for teaching our little girl to listen and talk!”
Tyler is a proud graduate of MOSD and leads an independent and successful adult life. He now lives in Houston, TX and works for Hewlett Packard as a supply chain analyst. Tyler is working with the Houston Ear Research Foundation and Cochlear Corporation in a study on the upgrade from a Freedom processor to the Nucleus 6. Tyler is a perfect candidate for this study because he is incredibly particular about the programming of his implant and has always used every feature each of his implants have offered. He loves to swim and is a member of the Masters Swimming Program in Houston. He is active in church and other local adult programs.
One look at his smile and they knew he was meant for them. Jane and Warren Hayes adopted Kase from China in 2014 despite his diagnosis of being deaf. “The agency explained that if we were not comfortable with his special needs, we could return the file and they would send us another to review. However, our hearts had already been captured from just the one picture they sent us.” The Hayes’ had no idea what it would be like to have a deaf child, but learned quickly that Kase’s hearing loss would impact the entire family. They considered learning sign language but chose an oral education path instead. Kase wears a BAHA (Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid) that allows him to hear. “Since the day we brought him home from China, we have seen him make giant leaps in adaptation and learning. We completely attribute this to the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf. Although we have to drive him close to 200 miles each day, it has been worth every second of what he has gained through their program. Through gentle persuasion, loving hearts, and genuine kindness, they have truly laid a solid foundation for Kase to transition into Kindergarten. “ Kase wants to be a policeman when he grows up.
"Lewis was adopted from China at 15 months old (April 2013) and we realized he was deaf several months after returning to the United States. Upon learning of his disability, we reached out to Memphis Oral School for the Deaf where we were educated and counseled in effectively navigating the possibility of obtaining cochlear implants. Dr. McDonald implanted Lewis at 23 months (4 days before Christmas-the best present ever) and he was enrolled at MOSD in January 2014 (the first day of school was his 2nd birthday). Lewis graduated from MOSD in May 2018 with the necessary skills to be mainstreamed thanks to the teaching and guidance of the caring teachers, audiologists, and therapists. He loves his new school, Marshall Academy - Home of the Patriots and wants to be an engineer when he grows up (so he can drive Thomas The Train). He is a very happy little boy and we are very thankful every day for the opportunity MOSD has provided to Lewis, it is an absolute blessing." -Dan and Ellen Gaw, proud parents