“I want people to know that no matter what disability you have you can do anything you put your mind to. I want to be a role model and show other kids that they can accomplish anything.”
Discovering Hearing Loss
When Ethan was born, he passed his newborn hearing test. Two and a half years later, while out shopping, Ethan’s mother realized he could not hear her when she was about a foot behind him. A few weeks later he was diagnosed with mild-to-moderate hearing loss and fit with two hearing aids. However, his hearing quickly started to get worse. At age 4, his parents decided the best solution was for Ethan to receive a cochlear implant. After his first surgery, when it came time to turn it on, it did not work. After weeks of trying to figure out what the problem was, a new doctor determined that it was implanted in the wrong place. Ethan had to undergo a second surgery to explant and re-implant the cochlear implant. Today, Ethan’s cochlear implant works great!
Importance of Hearing Better
Ethan is extremely grateful that he began wearing hearing devices in preschool. School is very important to him because he loves to learn, especially about his favorite subject, History. His parents and teachers always make sure the appropriate accommodations are made to provide Ethan with the greatest access to sound. His teachers use an FM system, allow preferential seating, and provide closed captions on all videos.
Ethan loves listening to all of the sounds he is able to hear because of his cochlear implant. His mother remembers the way his face lit up with an enormous smile after his second CI surgery and he could finally hear out of his right ear! He really enjoys listening to music, especially electronic music, and being able to hear people talk. It is important that he is able to hear to keep up with his busy schedule. Ethan is involved in many extracurricular activities including basketball, football, lacrosse, student government, and art.
“My favorite sound is hearing music. I love the chiming when my hearing aid first comes on when I put it in. It plays a piano sound.”
Why Ethan is a HearStrong Champion
Ethan is a HearStrong Champion because he is dedicated to raising awareness about hearing loss. As a “kidpreneur,” he started an apparel company called, “DEAFinitely Talented Apparel.” His goal is to raise awareness about deafness/hearing loss while spreading the message that kids who are deaf are extremely talented in all aspects of life. Ethan is an incredible role model because at a young age he shows others that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to. He is not afraid to share his story in hopes to educate his classmates about his hearing devices.
“I told my friends that I use my cochlear implant and my hearing aid to hear better. It’s just like when someone needs glasses to see better.”