Muhammad was born in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, and was diagnosed at birth with bilateral moderate to profound hearing loss. Five months after he was born, Muhammad went through intensive audiology testing and was fitted with bilateral hearing aids. When Muhammad was two and a half, his family moved from Saudi Arabia to Boston, primarily speaking Arabic.
At age three, Muhammad started Clarke’s Preschool Program where languages of the home are embraced, and English is spoken in the classroom. Growing up, Muhammad’s family spoke both English and Arabic at home, but intentionally spoke Arabic to him as a baby. Once Muhammad got comfortable at Clarke, his English and overall speech flourished!
Muhammad underwent surgery for a unilateral cochlear implant while attending Clarke. Prior to the implant, he was wearing bilateral hearing aids. At age seven, Muhammad transitioned to his neighborhood school. Clarke continued to support Muhammad in his public school twice per week while he benefitted from the best of both English and Arabic instruction in his second-grade schooling. Muhammad currently reads both languages fluently. His family credits the solid foundation he built at Clarke in learning how to listen and express himself.
Reflecting on Muhammad’s most recent years, his mother comments, “It was an amazing mainstream experience with excellent Clarke services. The biggest piece of advice I would give to anyone raising a child with hearing loss, never assume a goal is too high, be grateful for the hardships and always know that there is some good in situations that we don’t even see.”