I am Max's Grammy. Max was born on June 26, 2012 with bilateral hearing loss. He could hear about 40% of speech sounds.
Max was such a good baby, he wasn't fussy and slept well. I could put him in the playpen in the middle of my living room and have his 3 siblings playing around him and he would sleep so good. I put up pictures of him on Facebook sleeping so well in the middle of his noisy siblings. His sister would let out some loud screams, still does, and he didn't flinch. I bragged about how good my newest grand baby was.
As Max got older he was still such a good baby. He would always have the biggest smile and was so quiet. Pretty soon though we noticed he wasn't talking, at all. No sounds... My daughter kept taking him to the doctor and finally in February of 2014 they took her seriously and gave him some hearing tests. He would fail the tests and then pass, then fail again. He had some fluid on his ears so in April 2014 the doctor decided to put tubes in to see if that was the problem. While he was under for the tubes the gave him a hearing test called ABR? Something that was more accurate than what he had before. It's hard to get a good test when you are working with a toddler. This is when we found out he had bilateral hearing loss.
My sweet little man with the huge smile didn't have a voice for a reason. He got his hearing aids fitted and boy did he throw a fit when ever things got to loud, his sister, or certain sounds and voices upset him too.
We really didn't know what to do, we put the aids in and let him go. all he wanted to do was pull them out and he still wasn't speaking, but he was screaming. We didn't know any other kids with hearing loss and were trying to figure out where to go next. Then I saw something about a fun run for a school for toddlers.. Spokane HOPE school was having their first Hear me Run. I signed us all up and told Carla we could find people down there who were going through this and could help guide us in what to do. That was the best decision we made for Max. The more I saw, I knew he had to get into this program.
Hearing Oral Program of Excellence. Awesome! We knew this is what he needed. Having checked out the other options, there was signing. Signing is a good thing, but I figured if he could learn how to communicate first he would be better in the real world. Signing alone is a almost as much of a handicap as having nothing. I don't have any friends or co workers who can sign. I am guessing it would still cut him off from 99.5 percent of the population and that may be generous. He has to be able to communicate so when he is on a bus somewhere and needs directions, he has other options besides pen and paper or signing.
The first 5 years they are little sponges and that is the best time to learn and absorb and excel in anything. Max went to the toddler class at Spokane HOPE School and started using words. Then he started the preschool class. He had been using a lot of gibberish since he got his hearing aids along with his words. After his first month at the preschool class I went and picked him up for his mommy at a dance class. As I walked up to him he looked up at me from his video game and said "Hi Gammy!" with that big smile. First time ever he said Grammy and he used it in a little sentence. It was so sweet and still makes me tear up when I think about it. Now after his first school year in the preschool class say "I Love you Grammy!" Of course I want him to keep calling me Gammy, it was so cute but I am so excited about his progress. His voice is clear and sweet. He doesn't sound like he has hearing loss like the kids did when I was growing up. I think this school is going to enable him to start kindergarten when it is time and fit right in with all of the kids. My biggest fear is he will be picked on at school, I don't worry so much about that anymore due to his awesome progress.
I call him Maximus Prime, because of the transformation he has made and will continue to make over the next few years. My kids played with transformers when they were little and this name is my take or Optimus Prime. He answers to it with a smile! I am so proud of him and am so thankful for Spokane HOPE School for giving him these awesome tools that he will use for the rest of his life. He will be a grandpa one day and be able to read to his grandchildren and they will understand him.
He will be fully independent, fit in with all of the kids at school, not be picked on, speak in a clear voice, understand others and with those tools he will be able to do what ever he wants to do in life. I don't worry about that anymore. :)
The pictures are of Max when he started Spokane HOPE School and Max now.
HOPE is an invaluable resource for both families with hearing impaired children and the professional community that helps take care of these children. Even physicians and speech therapists need help from this school and its faculty. In addition, HOPE serves generations to come by training student professionals that will likely go all over the country. We are so lucky to have this unique resource in Eastern Washington!
Hope School will always have an special place in our hearts as a family. My husband and me were dreaming for a program to our children exactly the way HS is. We moved in 2013 to Spokane from our Country (Colombia) and the same year our oldest child were accepted in the program with not english at all and the next year our daughter were enrolling as well. Now, thanks to the excellent work of all the professionals of HS our children can enjoy and be part of the american educational system.
My youngest was born with severe hearing problems and a cleft pallet. We starting using HOPE schools services early with him and he started to advance. Since he has been in preschool at HOPE he has FLOURISHED! Thank you for everything you do!
Our son was a happy baby, but we could tell by age one that his speech was severely delayed. We tested him and learned that he had a profound Unilateral Hearing Loss (UHL) in one ear. He began attending HOPE School in Fall of 2004 at age 2, and by Fall of 2006, he was easily mainstreamed into a private pre-school. Thanks to the staff's diligent efforts in working with our son, not to mention the help of his good friends (a cochlear implant student, a model hearing student with a hearing impaired baby brother and their families), our son transitioned to regular school and has thrived ever since! He is about to graduate from Jr. High and will be a freshman in High School next academic year. He has great grades, does live theatre including musicals, plays basketball and golf, and is genuinely the most communicative, funny person you will ever meet, thanks to his excellent education from HOPE School!
My child has been a student for the past 18 months, he started there with not being able to say more than 3 or 4 words a sentence.. now he is speaking with more clear full sentences and we have a more clear communication with him...I couldn't be happier about his results in this school...thank you HOPE school teachers, staff and speech teacher students that have been involved..
I love Spokane HOPE School! I am a recent graduate from Eastern Washington University in Speech Language Pathology and I can honestly say that there was no practicum that I enjoyed more than working with the kids in HOPE school. I grew in knowledge and love for my field as I got to provide pull out speech therapy services to two of the kiddos attending HOPE school as well as receive hands on experience and training working with other kids in the classroom who were deaf or hard of hearing. The HOPE school is a great program that teaches children to listen and speak, while simultaneously affording graduate students a rich opportunity to learn and grow as future clinicians. I am so happy that I was afforded the opportunity to get to have a hand in such a great organization!
I have been an Audiologist working with hard of hearing and deaf children in this community for almost 25 years. The HOPE school is such a wonderful language-rich environment for our young students with hearing loss whose families choose to focus on spoken communication. The dedicated, knowledgeable, and hard working staff at HOPE are truly amazing. There is no other program like this in our community. You would have to travel to Seattle or Portland to find anything similar. How lucky we are to have this here locally!
We have lived in Coeur d'Alene for about 25 years. We have looked for charitable organizations that provide unique services in our area. We came across Hope School which clearly provides a unique and very successful program to make it possible for young deaf children to progress to the point where they can hear again and attend a normal elementary school. Each year we go to their presentation where these children who started out deaf can communicate with all of us. An incredible experience. We continue to be inspired each year and donate to their cause each year.
We moved from Atlanta to Spokane and I was worrying about my younger daughter how she is wearing a cochlear implants we found HOPE SCHOOL, and they helped to enroll in the HOPE school they are very friendly and cooperative they really worry about what the kids needs to be developed the speech. Is the best School for kids with cochlear implants.
I have been actively involve in the medical field, helping to restore hearing and advocate for the hearing impaired for more than 25 years. Hope school is a unique educational setting that provides hearing, speech, and learning services that are not provided by the local school districts for preschoolers.
It also provides a unique opportunity for speech professionals in university training to learn about educational techniques for the hard of hearing, which is unmatched
I have had the opportunity to work with the wonderful staff at HOPE School, as well as with the children and families they serve. The dedication of the professionals, the enthusiasm of the students when they walk in the door, and the genuine love the families have to partner together with the school for the success of their children is unsurpassable. There is much that goes in to the success of a program like this, and the children that attend and have attended HOPE School are the proof of that dedication. HOPE School is truly a shining star!
HOPE School is an amazing school where children with hearing loss are able to learn to listen and talk through the use of their hearing technology and the wonderful support the staff provides. They are the only school of its kind in all of our area and are not only a necessary part of the children's and their family's lives but also an asset to the community by helping to educate the children to become advocates for themselves and others. Through a team approach of a Teacher of the Deaf, general education teacher, and classroom Speech Language Pathologist these children are given the opportunity to have speaking and academic skills commensurate with their peers with normal hearing. HOPE Schools services start from birth. This is a wonderful organization for not only the children but also their families.
I knew NOTHING about hearing loss until my son was late diagnosed with severe-to-profound hearing loss and didn’t get proper hearing aids until the age of two. As a result he had no language at all and started the Toddler Group when he was only grunting and crying to communicate. He started the Hope School just before he turned 3 years old and subsequently got bilateral cochlear implants. Over the next three years my son’s language skills absolutely made leaps and bounds. It was amazing and inspiring to watch his tremendous progress, so much so that he started kindergarten mainstreamed and is doing well and better than half his class (typically developing hearing students). I owe his success to Hope School and the amazing teachers and constant support they provide me in my son’s hearing journey. Hope School is family for life. When your child graduates they don’t stop caring. I still seek support when needed from them and we still attend many events they host. I can’t even imagine where my son would be at right now if it was not for the priceless gift of the listening and spoken language that Hope School provided for him and his friends. They really care and they are truly experts at what they do. Hope School was a dream come true for me and my family and they can be for you too!
The vision for HOPE school came from a group of professionals and parents who knew that yound children who are deaf or hard of hearing could achieve much more with a program dedicated to provide excellent services to them. I had the privilege of working with many families with children with hearing loss over the years and referring them to different programs including the HOPE school. Children at HOPE school succeed at a level that could never have been imagined, for example children who are deaf showing normal speech language skills by the time they transfer to Kindergarten. Staff is dedicated to coordinate with everyone involved with the child and family, the families are supported and the children succeed. The vision has become reality.
My personal connection with this school is that I grew up deaf and this school reminds me a lot of the oral deaf program I went to from age 3 to 3rd grade where I grew up in the Boston suburbs. I have been continuously impressed with the enthusiasm of the staff, teachers, and volunteers at this school. Its been so infectious that it has drawn me to volunteer and want to be part of this dynamic group.
Our daughter failed her new born hearing screening and began using bilateral hearing aids when she was 6 weeks old. As her parents we were concerned that she would never hear "normally", never hear common sounds, and not speak as well as her peers. She started at HOPE School just before her first birthday. She transitioned from Toddler Group into the Preschool program as she was turning 2. HOPE School was wonderful! She was taught to listen and speak to communicate. By the time she was 4, she was the classroom speech model! She mainstreamed into the public school system for Kindergarten. She is now finishing up First Grade and has not needed any speech therapies, or any other special courses. We are so thankful to HOPE School for all they have given her, and to our family. We are now confident that she does hear "normally" and communicate with others. HOPE School is an extended family. We still have times to visit with the other families through holiday events and FISH Meetings. And whenever We hear of a family going through similar situations, we always share our wonderful experiences at HOPE School with them.