Lauren’s Story

“My name is Lauren G. and I was named 1995 Child of Year by the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. Since then, it has been quite a journey, but an experience that I will always be grateful for. I was diagnosed with a bilateral sensorineural severe to profound hearing loss at the age of three. My loss was discovered by my mother who caught me reading her lips, a skill I had apparently already taught myself. My parents were determined to give me all the tools I needed to succeed. I was fitted for hearing aids and enrolled in speech therapy immediately.

“My experience as Child of the Year is something that I will never forget. For a six year old, with a hearing loss, it was uplifting and encouraging. It gave me the opportunity to learn how to educate others and show the world that hearing loss doesn’t have to be a hindrance. Growing up with a hearing loss was not always easy, but there was a strength and drive that I had, that enabled me to go far in life. Today, I use my Child of the Year experience to show others the journey from then to now; to show parents and children that success is possible.

“I was a competitive swimmer, a basketball player, a dancer, and even sang in my high school choir. I was a member of the Timber Creek High School Regiment Color Guard and Winter Guard. I was an honor student and an active volunteer for many organizations. I have been very fortunate to be able to attempt and succeed at many things, become who I am today, and continue to grow. These things are not without roadblocks, but, with hearing aids, the gift of lip-reading, the determination to adapt and other assistive listening devices, I have the tools I need to be able to experience most everything that a hearing person can. The rest is up to me!

“I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media. I am a bit of a technology geek, as my expertise consists of social media, web design, graphic design and digital arts. I am a member of the Hearing Loss Association of American and involved with the HLAA Lakeland Chapter (and indirectly providing assistance to the HLAA-Florida Board!). I also love creative activities, such as drawing, painting, crafting, and scrapbooking. I still love to read, write and even do puzzles!
I am now 26 years old, a college graduate and the Communications Coordinator for Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center. Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center is a non-profit organization that provides hearing and speech services to all ages in Central Florida. The Center gave me a chance when no one else did, and for that I am utterly grateful. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work with an organization that is centered on speech and hearing, both of which play a huge role in my personal life. It is my dream to be able to share my story and to hopefully inspire those that are ‘like me’. I feel honored that I get an opportunity to use my Child of the Year and personal experiences to help others in my everyday work.”

Click here for additional stories

You Can Make Hearing Loss Visible!

Break The Silence

In 1986, Ronald Reagan issued an official proclamation naming May Better Hearing and Speech Month. His own decision to start wearing a hearing aid in public made national headlines in 1983.  His hearing loss was caused by a pistol firing close-range during film production in his days as an actor.  

As he shared: “Sounds, whether we produce them or receive them, are an integral part of our lives,” Reagan said. “Sounds – both the ones we hear and the ones we make – help us to understand others and to be understood.” 

If you or someone you know has a hearing loss, contact the Hearing Loss of America’s Florida State Association for additional information!  (hlaaflorida@yahoo.com

Hearing loss knows no economic or age boundaries. It could be anyone dealing with a hearing loss … it could be YOU.  Break the silence, seek help and work with a professional audiologist to help you or a loved one HEAR TODAY.

The Hearing Loss Association of America, Florida State Association (HLAA-FL)

The Hearing Loss Association of America, Florida State Association (HLAA-FL) serves the needs of all people with hearing loss throughout the State of Florida, by providing information and educational support, public awareness and both legislative and public policy advocacy of issues related to assuring equal access, opportunity and protection for the quality of life of individuals with hearing loss.