From: Orlando, FL
When Lauren was 3, she was diagnosed with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss in the severe range. Her mother was the first to discover the hearing loss, although no one else noticed that anything was amiss.
“Both grandmothers, as well as my dad, thought she was nuts for thinking that there was anything to be worried about,” Lauren says. “Even my preschool teachers found it hard to believe, as I was very active and vocal. The final straw to [my mother] was when she caught me reading her lips. At age three, I had already adapted to my hearing loss, without even knowing that I had one.”
“I enjoyed reading. However, they realized after I was diagnosed that I would always look at the person reading the story to me [rather than] the book.” After being diagnosed, Lauren was immediately fitted with hearing aids and adjusted well.
“With my hearing aids, I have been able to attempt and succeed at many things, become who I am today, and continue to grow.” Although she has had roadblocks, Lauren graduated from both high school and college with honors, worked and lived independently, and has overcome many stigmas attached to hearing loss. She was even named Child of the Year by the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists due to her early enthusiasm toward sharing her story and educating others about hearing loss.
Today, Lauren works as communications coordinator for the Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center, a nonprofit organization that provides speech and hearing services to the community. “I am now in a stage of my life where I can share my experiences and really show people what seeking help for a hearing loss can do,” she says. “My job... is a dream come true, for what I have wanted most in life is to do something that makes a difference, embraces who I am, and gives me opportunities to inspire and advocate. It is with my own determination, immense support, and gracious opportunities that I have been able to overcome my hearing loss use my experiences for the good of others.”
Lauren advocates for those with hearing loss and champions this cause through her role at the Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center.
Her positivity and determination have led to her success in helping others in her community hear and communicate more effectively. “I can only hope to use my experiences to educate and show others that hearing loss is not a weakness. It presents opportunities for strength and determination.”
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