Story of Clivenne
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Clivenne is twelve years old and she has hearing impairment (bilateral profound hearing loss). Despite this, Clivenne has a natural knack for visual arts and sports. She likes to paint on paper and on canvases. She is friendly and helpful too. She has great sense of humor. She is cooperative in class and is diligent in her studies and in her daily chores.
We tell her story to inspire hope and courage to you our readers.
Clivenne joined the Future Rehabilitation Centre in year 2012. She had few speech sounds plosives/p/, /b/ and fricatives /f/,/s/ and nasal /m/,/n/ which she could imitate. Clivenne’s mode of expression was 1-2 word phrases in ASL and her own gestures by which she expressed her requests.
She was placed in the English Academic Class to improve her entry level in academic skills. Alongside her regular classroom activities, she went for speech and language therapy. She could sight read few words. She was able to follow classroom routines and at the therapy as well, when the instructions were given through signs, gestures and pointing. What was evident from the time she joined the centre was the active participation of her parents in her daily activities. Her mother regularly asked about Clivenne’s daily activities and appreciated when there were home assignments that were given by her Speech Therapist.
It seemed to be God’s plan that she got cochlear implant. It was when her parents were applying for a disability card that they met the doctor that was to suggest and to help them to have the surgery at a government hospital in Abu Dhabi. Though many believed that it was a bit late for her to have it at age ten years old, she courageously underwent the surgery in the summer of 2014.
From the methods such as ASL, PECS and gestures that she was accustomed to, Clivenne is now receiving training verbal communication in Speech therapy sessions. Clivenne still uses ASL which she practically grew up with. Alongside her ASL, she was trained in auditory discrimination, verbal imitation of sounds and words.
Clivenne has shown remarkable progress such that she started with single word level and more of functional words were targeted which included few nouns, verbs, greetings, emotions, prepositions and language concepts. Currently Clivenne can bridge 2-3 words level phrases (person+ action+ object) when picture cue given. She has also started framing and answering “Wh” question “Where?” using 2-3 word phrases. Her language comprehension and clarity of speech sounds are improving.
As a result of her remarkable improvement in speech and communication, Clivenne is also progressing in her academics. Her engagements in sports and arts competitions are also becoming more frequent. And she wins some of them. She also now participates in music classes more confidently. Recently, she was able to join a dance competition along with other students and they won second prize. There is still much work to be undertaken. Indeed, Clivenne still needs her therapy and other interventions but what is inspiring to know is that Clivenne has shown her personal courage and commitment to grow in all her endeavors.