Jan 2021 Yeshiva World News
Imagine turning on the faucet and not being able to hear the water run. Or taking a walk and seeing the birds but not being able to hear their song. For 5 year old Batsheva, this was the world she lived in. “I would miss sounds. Some days I could hear and some days there was just silence. It fluctuated.” As a parent, when you learn your child is deaf, there is immediate panic. As Batsheva’s mother Pnina expresses, “You worry, will my child be like other children? Will she be accepted or make friends? Will she be bullied?” Pnina, a speech language pathologist spent those early years taking her daughter from service to service and therapist to therapist. “At that time, there was no one central location with comprehensive programming that could help Batsheva,” explains Pnina. “It is crazy that New York, which was at the forefront of technology, still had no program for our daughter. We had to be the ones who put it together.”
After researching other programs across the country, the Batsheva’s parents began a school in their own living room. The goal? To give any child with auditory-processing disorders or hearing loss, access to the best services and succeed at anything they wished to accomplish.
Since then, Strivright/the Auditory Oral School of New York, has helped over 30,000 children between infancy and five years old. Now, in the wake of programming cuts and services due to the pandemic, the school is poised to launch an ambitious crowdfunding project to raise $1,000,000.
The campaign, “I Am a Hearo” is an empowering campaign designed to give every child with hearing loss the chance to be a Super-Hearo.
The first five years of a child’s development is critical to their success. Over the last year, when services and learning have been interrupted, children with hearing loss and processing challenges have suffered a regression of skills that they’d previously achieved. Simply stated, they have fallen behind. They will grow up struggling in their classes, in their friendships and in their jobs, unless someone reaches out and gives them the extra support they need to catch up.