Laurie's Book Chapters

These are chapters for my "book" that I hope to write about my cochlear implant journey and experience. Chapters will not be in order but enjoy them as they are written. . .

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Twelfth Report to John Tracy Clinic

When my hearing loss was discovered, my parents enrolled in a correspondence course with the John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles, California that had a program and support system for the deaf and hearing impaired community. As I progressed with my "training" to hear and be a part of the hearing world, my mother was required to send "reports". The 12th report was considered to be the LAST and FINAL one. Mom saved all of my records and my father passed them on to me. I recently discovered a copy of her "twelfth report" which was written in 1977. . .

To Whom It May Concern,

For a long time I have wanted to send a "twelfth report" on our daughter, even though it has been nearly 15 years since the "eleventh report". At that time our Laurie was an eager five-year old, just getting ready to begin classes for the deaf in the public school system at Columbus, Ohio. How much has happened since then! I can't begin to summarize those busy, rewarding years in a letter, but I thought you might be interested in a report on her present status, particularly since I never did mail that last report. That year she attended the kindergarten class in Columbus, I was pregnant with our fourth child, a son, who was born May 4th, 1963. A few years later we became involved in therapy and training for Doug, for he, too, has a severe hearing loss which has become progressively worse. But that is another story. . .

After a year in the pre-school deaf class with an excellent teacher, (my note: I remember her name as Mrs. Card), Laurie was transferred to regular classes where she continued to do well through her twelve years in public school. Life had its ups and downs - just as it has for our other hearing children - but she was always an eager student and maintained a positive attitude toward her situation. She graduated from Centerville High School in 1975 in the upper fifth of her class of 550 with a grade average of 3.30 GPA in college preparatory courses. During her senior year she participated in a D.C.T. (Diversified Cooperative Training) program where she attended school in the mornings and worked as a dental assistant for a local dentist (my note: Dr. Mark S. Hodson, D.D.S.) in the afternoons. For a time, she planned to enter the field of dental hygiene, but has since decided on a career in accounting. In the fall of 1975, she entered Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and lived in the dorm on campus. There she met Steve, a senior in engineering physics who had already been accepted into a Navy program for outstanding students interested in nuclear submarines. By Christmas we were hearing a lot about Steve, by Easter they were engaged, and on November 13th, 1976, after he completed Officers Candidate School, they were married. Laurie had continued with school during summer and fall terms, so she had most of her Sophomore work completed. She is now a student at Florida Technological University (note: now known as University of Central Florida) at Orlando, Florida, where Steve is stationed until June. They will be moving periodically as he continues with his course work in nuclear physics, but they both are determined that she will take courses wherever and whenever possible so that she can complete her degree in Accountancy. She has maintained a B average in her college work this far, which is great, we feel. We are extremely proud of her, and very happy over her choice of a lifetime partner. From the beginning, Steve has accepted her as she is, hearing aids and all, and they seem to have what it takes to make a successful marriage. He calls her his "bionic woman." So, that is my twelfth report on Laurie, a grown-up correspondence course graduate. If I can find a copy of a newspaper report written about her a couple years ago, I will enclose it. (note: I have a copy of this newspaper article and will try to find a way to post it if I can.)

As I said, Doug is another story - but his growing up years have also been interesting and rewarding. Because he had more hearing during the first few years than Laurie, he developed better language patterns. However, the progressive nature of his hearing loss has made things hard for him in some ways. It was a while before he would accept a hearing aid (now he depends on them, of course) and he never did become as adept a lip-reader as she did. Perhaps it was because he didn't need as much, perhaps it was just his nature. He was never as eager to sit down with me and do the kinds of things which were helpful to Laurie; however, he was just as alert, curious, and eager to learn, and one way or another, he learned. He is a good student, particularly interested in math, and was one of his class accepted into the advanced math program (algebra) this year in eighth grade. His hearing difficulties are frustrating to him at times, but fortunately he developed a good sense of humor along the way and manages to take things pretty much in stride.


Elizabeth T. Royer


At 2:08 PM, Blogger SooZ said...

Hi, from fellow CI recipient (6 days away!)

This is a very moving letter written by your mother. My parents also had correspondence from the John Tracy Clinic.

I hope I will be one of the first to get your published book. (Dated and signed! wink.) All the best in your future quest. I love reading about your life experiences. You have a way with words.

Most sincerely, Suzie

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Pamela S said...

As your correspondent said - I, too, would love to read your book when you finish. How wonderful to have articles that your mother has written, especially since is now passed on. What a wonderful memory - you must read those and feel as though she is still here to share your experiences. I know she would be so happy for you now. Even though she is not here to share your new found hearing, I'm sure she knows about it and is thrilled for you!


At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!


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