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Lily’s Story

May 14th, 2008 by | Tags: | 2 Comments »

Lily Barrett is able to listen and speak with the help of her cochlear implant. She is currently a senior in high school, and looks forward to continuing her academic success next year at Kenyon College. Lily was kind enough to allow me to share her story with all of you, so I hope you enjoy “Lily’s Story,” and learn about another great CI Role Model!

I received my cochlear implant (CI) when I was two-and-a-half years old. Since then, I have communicated solely through oral speech. I’ve been mainstreamed in the Lexington, Massachusetts public schools for most of my life, and as a high school student, take honors classes and maintain a strong GPA. As a senior, I enjoy leadership roles in many of my extra-curricular activities, have completed community service hours for the National Honor Society, and have founded a program for younger children with CIs.

After my CI was turned on, I quickly began to absorb literature through the spoken word. Every night, my parents read to me from the poetry of Shel Silverstein, Goodnight Moon, and the Pippi Longstocking series, to name a few. In preschool, my teacher noticed that I enjoyed reading and listening to stories. After school, she put time aside to encourage me to tell my own stories. She transcribed my yarns onto paper, which I later covered with messy illustrations.

I continue to write. I have attended several creative writing programs to which I was admitted by competitive application. Within Lexington High School, I am one of two editors-in-chief for the literary magazine; Editorials editor for the student newspaper; and staff writer for the humor magazine. In the fall of 2008, I will attend Kenyon College, a New Ivy school with a strong English program.

I also credit my cochlear implant with enabling me to pursue acting. I have been cast, often in major roles, in several dramatic productions at Lexington High School. I’ve written plays, as well as directed and acted, in the annual student-run drama festival. Freshman year, I co-founded the school’s Movie-Making Club and have been helping to run it ever since. Each year, the club scripts, films, and edits an original movie, making sure each club member has opportunities to storyboard, act, and direct. I’d like to continue performing in college. I’m also interested in trying dance and voice.

After school, you can find me listening to music on my iPod — Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, Gossip, Maroon 5, and various Broadway musicals are a fairly big part of my life. I watch TV. I read. I hang out with friends, many of whom happen to have normal hearing. I attend concerts and shows in nearby Boston. The few obstacles caused by living as a deaf person in a world where the majority hears normally have taught me valuable self-advocacy skills, whether it’s asking people to repeat a statement or beseeching movie theaters to caption their movies.

My world would not be the same without sound. I am grateful for my cochlear implant.

Written by

Elizabeth Rosenzweig MS CCC-SLP LSLS Cert. AVT is a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist. She provides auditory verbal therapy, aural rehabilitation, IEP advocacy, consultation, and LSLS mentoring for clients around the world via teletherapy. You can learn more about Elizabeth's services on her Website or Facebook.

2 Comments

lindsey

May 14, 2008 at 9:18 pm

hey lilly. you posted on rachel’s website ;) now can you convince rivka to post as well?
andd again congrats on kenyon.

are you going to the cochlear implant convention this summer? (if it is this summer?)

-linds <3

April 4, 2012 at 1:46 am

[...] Lily shared her story with us a few years ago on Cochlear Implant Online, she took a moment to share her story again through her own voice.  Lily first received her [...]