Deaf children part of very special graduation

June 22, 2012 3:38:16 PM PDT
In today's Hometown Live, we went to the Center for Hearing and Speech just west of downtown for a very special graduation.

This may look like any pre-school graduation. There are songs and the tiny graduates talking about their future.

Abby McPhaul, 5, wants to be a doctor.

"Because doctors help people when they're sick," Abby said.

For Lara and John McPhaul, this day is miraculous.

"She sings songs in the car every morning," Abby's mother, Lara, said through tears. "Her favorite is Oklahoma, the show tunes."

Abby was born with profound hearing loss which progressed into deafness.

"It's very amazing that she is able to hear," said her father, John McPhaul.

At 20 months, she came to CHS. The non-profit has every resource needed to prepare a deaf child for mainstream schooling, regardless of a family's income.

"Almost of our children start with no language," said Renee Davis, Executive Director of the Center for Hearing and Speech. "We want to make sure that every child who has a hearing loss can be served at our center."

With two cochlear implants and the education received here, Abby is headed to kindergarten at a public school. After that, anything is possible.

"For us as parents, they really gave our child a special gift," Lara McPhaul said.

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