By Kim Larsen
Tell us your story.
Roman was adopted from the Ukraine when he was four. He was deaf and his medical history is unknown. When he came to America, we got his hearing tested and ended up at Children's Hospital in the Audiology Department. He got his first hearing aids right before Christmas when he was 4 1/2. He loved them and loved sound. Roman recieved aural rehab and for several years and when he was ten, he recieved a cochlear implant. Wow, what a wonderful world of sound Roman was able to hear. He can hear the rain, whispers and the cat playing with a superball in the next room. Roman continues to recieve Aural Rehab and loves everything about hearing. His speech has blossomed and he hopes to be able to talk on the phone with his friends.
Roman also recieves counseling services through Children's Psychiatry Department. He meets each week with a therapist who helps him with issues related to his adoption, deafness, learning disabilities and ADHD. One of his summer highlights is the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Summer Camp program at Children's. Roman loves being around other deaf kids and signing adults. This has become more important to him when we moved far from Deaf school programs and he was mainstreamed full time.
Roman has grown up with Children's. He visits every week and tries to make time to go down to the playroom to see his friends and practice the piano. He talks about his friends at check in and loves it when they greet him by name.
What does Children's mean to you, your child and your family?
Children's Hospital gave our family the gift of sound. Roman loves to hear and he works very hard to be able to have good speech to communicate with his hearing family members and friends. I'll never forget when Roman first put on his hearing aids. He sat frozen in his chair. He didn't want to move in case the sound went away. When he got braver, he moved his head slightly from one side to the other. Within a few minutes he was bouncing around exploring sounds. He had a similar experience when his cochlear implant was turned on. He was so excited to hear so many new sounds and with in a week we were having conversations through the bathroom door. That's very important to a mom and kid!
We have faced many challenges through the years with hearing, mental health, learning disablilities and physical illnesses. It is nice to know we have a great team at Children's who can help us face and meet any challenges that may come our way.