“I think that is it so important to show people with hearing loss that they can do anything they set their mind to and to be confident no matter what. I want everyone with hearing loss to know that they are amazing and strong.”
Kylie was born with many health complications. After she was born she was transported to Akron Children’s Hospital NICU where she received the newborn hearing test. After failing that, she was given a more complex hearing test. Kylie was then diagnosed with a mild hearing loss and at just 4 months old, she received her first set of hearing aids. She was later diagnosed with Sticklers Syndrome which has a common symptom of progressive hearing loss. Her hearing loss has progressively gotten worse over the years, but her parents and audiologist continue to provide her with the appropriate technology she needs to hear better.
Importance of Hearing Better
Kylie’s mom is extremely happy that Kylie was fit with hearing aids so young. She is grateful that her daughter was screened at birth and they were able to catch her hearing loss right away.
Kylie’s mom said, “After she was fitted it was like we had a new Kylie. She was responsive and started to smile at us. Hearing aids allowed her to connect with the world around her. Early intervention is so vital for child development when your child has a disability.”
Kylie loves to challenge herself daily, whether she is solving a math problem or competing in a golf tournament. Kylie’s hearing aids and the FM system her teachers wear ensure she doesn’t miss out on anything important in the classroom. She enjoys all of the little sounds she can hear because of her devices like listening to the rain tapping against the roof.
“My favorite part about being able to hear better is being able to hear what my friends and family are saying and enjoying time with them. I wear my hearing aids all day every day and I enjoy my hearing aids more than anything.”
Why Kylie is a HearStrong Champion
Kylie is a HearStrong Champion because she confidently advocates for herself and others every day. She is dedicated to inspiring other people who are deaf or hard of hearing to embrace their journey. She created an Instagram account to share her own story and encourage others to find confidence in their hearing loss like she has. She is not afraid to explain to her peers that her hearing aids help her understand people daily. She also advocates for herself by clarifying that even though she has assistive technology, that doesn’t mean she can hear perfectly in every situation.
As a teenager, she is a positive role model for other young people with hearing loss that are still navigating their journey. This vibrant 14-year-old is shattering stigmas and inspiring others to overcome any obstacles they may face. Inspired by her role model, Carrie Spangler, she hopes to one day become an audiologist.
“I want to help other kids with hearing loss just like Carrie Spangler does! I want to make a positive impact on other kids with hearing loss just like she made an impact on my life and made me the confident person I am with my hearing loss.”