Child authors with hearing loss at NYC book launch
December 14, 2016
Books of Wonder
18 W 18th St., New York, NY 10011
Children ages 5 to 9 who receive services at the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) will lend their voices to a unique book launch event tonight, December 14th (6PM), at Books of Wonder on West 18th Street in Manhattan. Reading from their self-published autobiographies, the children, who are deaf and hard of hearing, will share their hearing loss journeys to help others understand what it’s like to grow up with a hearing loss and to see the boundless opportunities their futures hold.
The reading, along with the writing and publishing of these books, is part of an intensive communication therapy program at CHC that teaches children who are deaf and hard of hearing to hear and speak with the aid of hearing aids and/or cochlear implants. With the support of a multidisciplinary team of experts and individualized care, children who receive services at CHC can achieve their speech, listening and language potential and thrive in a mainstream academic setting. Dana Selznick, CHC’s Deaf Education Specialist, is the event’s organizer; she can be reached at (917) 305-7855.
CHC kids are also taught to advocate for themselves so that they can succeed in a hearing world and in a culture that often places a stigma on hearing loss. Executive Director, Laurie Hanin, describes the children who receive services at CHC as “confident, well-spoken and independent individuals who are comfortable talking about their hearing loss and the accommodations they require to communicate effectively at home, in the classroom and in social situations. They hope that by sharing their stories with the public they can change misconceptions and help people understand that their hearing loss in no way defines who they are or limits what there are capable of.”
Every year, five to six out of 1,000 babies are born with a significant hearing loss. By the time children reach the first grade, nine to ten out of a thousand will be found to have hearing loss. The identification and treatment of hearing problems is critically important because untreated childhood hearing loss can hinder speech, language, critical thinking and social development. Even a mild hearing loss will cause a child to miss 50% of what is happening in the classroom.