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Challenge: Kids with Special Needs

A Boy Named Sue. How my Deaf Son has Taught Us to Battle

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As the first years of teen-hood quickly approach... a message to my almost-13-year-old.


You were named before you ever entered this world. It only took Dad seven months to wear me down and convince me that naming our baby boy, Battle, was going to set you up for greatness.

Think about it... "Battle on the Tackle," the announcer would shout... I was eventually convinced that, like the Johnny Cash song, "A Boy Named Sue," you gotta give a boy a name he can live up to.

Little did we know the battle that would lie ahead for you.

Being born deaf was just a small part of it. Being an out-of-sync child was where we fought the real war. When your body perceives it's environment as itchy or chaotic or too loud or isolating~ Navigating your space on and in this world is challenging. Every. damn. day.

Thank the Lord for advice given to us early on, from a wise therapist who was an expert working with children with hearing loss like you who shared these challenges. It proved to be invaluable.

He encouraged us to set the bar high for you; Measure you against all peers, your hearing peers rather than only those who were deaf; Keep raising our expectations.

He said,

"He. Will. Rise."

And you did.

Today, you have battled your way to being a caring, empathetic friend, and a straight-A student with an insatiable love of learning. A passionate, full-throttle, effort-obsessed athlete, you can bet you leave it all on the field, court, track.

While we keep nudging the bar higher, you continue to reach, meet and exceed it.

Way to go, Sue! Cochlear Americas


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