Lauren Bagby_Mar2014_2Meet Lauren, a Class of 2009 graduate of Child’s Voice. Lauren is currently in the 7th grade at Twin Groves Middle School in Buffalo Grove.

“Childs Voice has made a big difference in my life. I learned how to talk, and be confident and advocate for myself. Here’s my story…

“My hearing loss was discovered at birth. I was lucky that my family knew about my hearing loss right away and by 5 months of age I was aided and wearing my hearing aids every day. Of course I did not like to wear them and my parents had a special bonnet made to keep me from pulling them off.

As an infant, I went to a therapist who offered speech therapy My hearing loss was labeled mild to moderate. When I turned 3, my school district offered a program where they could provide me with speech, which is what all the professionals said I needed. My parents didn’t consider Child’s Voice because they thought it was for kids with worse hearing loss than me.

After a year in my school district’s preschool program, I wasn’t meeting my IEP goals. It seemed speech was not all I needed. I needed to learn how to listen, to be oral, and to compensate for my deficits. That is when my parents turned to Child’s Voice.

I still keep in touch with two of my friends from Child’s Voice, Marne and Miya. I loved all my teachers and don’t have a favorite. I remember Ms. Jeanette’s class and learning through music. She made learning fun. She is probably the reason I love music so much. I learned to play the violin and was in my school’s orchestra in 4th and 5th grade. My favorite Child’s Voice memory was when I surprised my family at graduation and sang a solo!

The transition to mainstream went well. I started to mainstream in 2nd grade when I went to my home school on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. This helped because I got to meet my classmates. It was also helpful because I got to experience being in a classroom with 22 students. Sometimes it was hard to hear and follow a conversation, but my teacher learned how to help me. When she asked a question to the class, she threw a ball to the person she wanted to answer it. I followed the ball with my eyes. The ball was thrown around the room to each person who talked. This helped me and it was a lot of fun to throw a ball in class.”

Lauren Bagby_Mar2014Lauren is very active outside of school as well. She runs cross-country and plays soccer. Lauren also enjoys traveling, skiing, computer games and creating art, especially drawing and making sculptures with clay. This past summer Lauren celebrated her bat mitzvah by traveling to Israel. Each year, Lauren and her mom plan a road trip and they’ve seen 36/50 states so far…adding one more in July with a trip to Texas.

Bari, Lauren’s mom shared, “Child’s Voice instilled confidence in my daughter, and taught her that she can do anything her hearing peers can do. This summer was proof, when we went to Israel and she chanted Torah on top of Mt. Masada.”

Congratulations on all your success Lauren! We know we’ll keep hearing great things from you!