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Speech improved when hearing was upgraded

Connecting Families to Vital Resources

“Despite his disabilities, he is living it up. He is full of energy and has a lot of common sense, is very strong and loves to learn, run, play, and be silly,” said his dad, Jeremy about 11-year-old Dusty. “We are extremely proud of how far he’s come.”

Born early at 2 pounds 4 ounces, he spent his first month in the NICU because he was too small to come home. The nurses nicknamed him “Rockstar” because he never needed oxygen or a feeding tube.
The day he was released to come home, nurses did a hearing test and his parents learned he was profoundly deaf in his right ear and had mild loss in his left ear.

Dusty and his parents Jeremy and Cheryl were connected to Rainbows Infant/Toddler Services immediately. Dusty thrived with early intervention services and staff helped him get hearing aids for both ears. At 6 months, his family learned Dusty was having seizures and those were controlled with medication. He came to Kids’ Point for childcare and enjoyed interacting with children his own age. Dusty was eventually diagnosed as failure to thrive but he has slowly and consistently grown in every way. Dusty was seen by Children’s Mercy Hospital and while they performed the most expensive and extensive tests, his condition is unknown.

Dusty remains connected to Rainbows through Targeted Case Management. Veteran TCM Kerri Dixon walks alongside the family helping them get connected to resources and coordinating services. When Dusty needed to upgrade his hearing aids, Kerri reached out to Kansas Society for Children with Challenges and secured funding. “His original hearing aids were now outdated and needed to be replaced,” said Kerri. “It’s good to see Dusty aware of his surroundings and enjoying playing games with his family.”

“The sounds quality is tremendous,” said Jeremy. “The day he got the new hearing aids, he couldn’t stop talking and making sounds.”

Cheryl agreed Dusty is talking a lot more because he’s hearing a lot more. “The new equipment makes such a difference. It’s good to have him communicating. He’s our perfect, one-of-a-kind boy!”