Growing up, many children with hearing loss miss out on important cues at school in social situations. While they sometimes have their parents and teachers to help, when they begin college or start a new job, they are often left to fend for themselves.
CampUS councilor Dr. Carrie Spangler, who has hearing loss herself, aims to give the teens information that will help them advocate in these important transitioning years.
“A lot of the campers come, and they don’t really think that they need to meet someone with hearing loss,” she says, “but when they come and have the opportunity to meet others, there’s almost like a switch that goes off inside them.”
“but when they come and have the opportunity to meet others, there’s almost like a switch that goes off inside them.”
Growing up, Emmy says she was surrounded by other children with hearing loss, but as she got into her teen years she distanced herself from them.
“I wish I hadn’t done it,” she says, “but at the time I didn’t want to be surrounded by other people who maybe enhanced my differences.”
At campUS, when she and her roommate and were taking off their cochlear implants for the evening, she said it was nice to have a complete mutual understanding with someone, at all times of the day.
Being a teen with hearing loss isn’t easy, says Katie Rosa, another campUS councilor. “It sucks to feel alone.”
“Everyday you have to navigate social satiations and environments that are not ideal.”
Learning to be your best advocate, he says, is one of the best things you can do.
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