Madeline’s diagnosis of moderately severe to profound hearing loss in both ears at the age of 18 months changed her family forever. It instilled a commitment to see “the beauty in the journey” as her siblings and parents became active voices for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
At one year old, Madeline was fitted with bilateral hearing aids. Her family recalls seeing her face come alive with expression as she comprehended sound for the first time.
Madeline enrolled in Clarke’s toddler programming where she began to learn to listen and talk. Clarke continued to support Madeline years later as she transitioned to a mainstream school.
In fourth grade, Madeline was voted a student council representative and stood in front of her peers and said, “I want to help [my school] the way [my school] has helped me. I’m a leader and a listener.” Her family was proud of this achievement and shared, “The part where she could stand in front of a mainstream classroom, have the confidence to give a speech and be 100% intelligible to typical hearing 9- and 10-year-olds is the miracle, the milestone.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Madeline was in the physical classroom for her fifth-grade year and, according to her mother Melissa, “handled the challenges of the pandemic with grace and grit.” Madeline’s family reports that she ended her academic year with a 93 average and academic honors in two of the three trimesters. Madeline was also one of two fifth-graders awarded a three-year scholarship.
Melissa shared these kind words with the Clarke team at the close of the school year, “Thanks for making [Madeline’s] start in life possible, with a solid foundation for thriving in the mainstream and in life. Everyone who knows [Madeline] continues to be amazed at her progress. But we knew our Clarke School family knew it all along.”