We came across this article from New Jersey via North Jersey.com where a Hidden Hearing style heroes awards program doing similar work awarded a special cert to a very courageous 9 year old. An article appeared about how 9-year-old Courtney DeJoie, who overcame the challenges she faced when, as a first-grader, it was found that she had a hearing deficit, was published in Community Life. After extensive testing, she was fitted with hearing aids in the summer before she began second grade. Her mother, Donna, said, at first, she was “very resistant” about wearing them. But that summer she met three children – triplets – who would soon become her best friends. Two of them are hearing impaired. Her mom said that meeting them made all the difference.
By the time the school year started she wasn’t self-conscious about her hearing aids. But she faced another challenge, this one academic. She struggled with her school work because it had been difficult for her to keep up before she got her hearing aids. She got the academic support she needed by switching to Brookside School, where the triplets went to school, and goes to classes with her hearing impaired friends.
Her second grade teacher at Washington School invited her to come and speak to her current students about what it’s like to be hearing impaired. And she wrote a book about how she met her best friends.
Her story inspired her audiologist at Valley Hospital, Patricia E. Connelly, PhD, who diagnosed her hearing impairment, and Tom Higgins, of Advanced Hearing Services in Ramsey, who fitted her with hearing aids, to nominate her for an, “Oticon Focus on People Award,” offered by Oticon, a company that designs and manufactures hearing aids. Connelly said Courtney, “exemplifies everything wonderful about being a great kid, first, and, second, about not letting hearing loss impact at all in a negative way.”
Although Courtney wasn’t a finalist, she received an honorary award in recognition of her achievements, dedication and spirit, demonstrating that hearing loss does not have to limit a person’s ability to succeed.
If you have any questions about the Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards or anything about hearing loss or hearing aids contact Hidden Hearing.