How does Julie hear?

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With her iPod plugged in, a signature smile on her face, and… two cochlear implants!

Julie seems like any other high school senior. She's stressing over college applications, wishing it was still summer, and planning her next drive with her new license in hand. Julie takes a break from it all to sit down with Hearing Our Way magazine and chat about school, life, and hearing!

All About Me

Hi, I'm Julie. I'm 17-years-old and a senior in high school. I love to listen to music and go to concerts. I live on Long Island, a few minutes away from New York City.

My Hearing Loss Story

Hearing Our Way Image 2I was diagnosed with hearing loss and got my hearing aids when I was 2-years old. My family learned about a special school in St. Louis, Missouri that could teach me to listen and speak. We moved there, and I've been talking ever since! My hearing loss was progressive, and I was profoundly deaf by the age of 6. That's when I received my first cochlear implant and headed back to my mainstream school in New York. I got my second cochlear implant at the age of 11 — ——I love being bilateral!

Overcoming Obstacles

I've been lucky to have mostly good experiences with my hearing loss, but there have been a few bumps along the way. Mostly it's little things, like noisy situations when I can't hear or understand what's going on, and I need to advocate for myself. One difficult experience I had was in elementary school, when I couldn't  go on the plastic playground slides because of static with my cochlear implants. I was lucky that my parents, IEP team, and I were able to get a metal slide on the playground instead.

Chat Pack

Another tricky situation was in the middle school cafeteria, which was so noisy that I couldn't hear my friends. I tried to bring my FM system to lunch, but it was still just too loud. I was able to go to a smaller room to eat lunch with a few friends. We named it 'Quiet Lunch,' but we never let it get too quiet! I'm glad I spoke up and didn't spend the whole year in a place I couldn't hear.

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