Camp serves children who are deaf, hard of hearing and their parents

Camp serves deaf children and their parents

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - A special camp in Bon Air is bringing together unique kids and giving them a voice.

Camp Talk is for kids who are deaf or hard of hearing. Its unique approach is giving their parents a voice, as well.

At Camp Talk, technology gives each of these deaf and hard of hearing kids the chance, to hear and speak.

“Look! He has ears like me!” is what 3-year-old Thomas Patterson excitedly tells his parents when he sees other children with hearing aids or cochlear implants.

When he attends Camp Talk, Children’s Hospital of Richmond’s week-long summer camp for children receiving audiology services, Thomas is surrounded by kids “like him.”

The children are able to use a unique set of custom technology, such as cochlear implants or hearing aids, enabling them to interact as you’d expect any kid to at camp.

“A big part for the children is listening and using this spoken language," said Judy Aloanzi, who has a job as developmental specialist in early intervention, and is also a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing kids, "which is they’re using their hearing and they’re developing their language in the same way that their peers are learning language and acquiring sounds.”

“They can see the same things their friends are going through, and they support each other,” Aloanzi.

Parents are invited to the camp to learn about how to help their kids, get resources and discover ongoing legislation that could impact them.

“Amazing. It’s amazing.” said Leah Muhlenfeld, whose daughter attends the camp.

“We’ve all been like this is what I tried and does anyone know how to solve this?” said Muhlenfeld.

Camp Talk not only helps kids fit in, but also appreciate the ways they stand out. And they say that is worth talking, or hearing, about.

The camp is for kids 2 ½ to 13 years old and each year it’s served more and more kids.

The camp is free, sponsored by VCU Audiology and others. Click here to learn more.

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