In Bloomington, Indiana, Steven visited the fountain he played in as a young child (age 3-7). He lived in a residential speech training program for severely hearing impaired children on the campus at Indiana University. Nowadays, they wouldn’t institutionalize such a young child for speech training, but in the 1950’s that was the best choice available. Steven’s mother, a wonderful advocate for her hearing impaired child, moved the whole family up from Kentucky to be close by and to ensure her son’s speech therapy and lip reading training during these years. Today, Steven is grateful he got exactly the training he did, as he was able to mainstream in public school by first grade interacting socially with both speech, and with the aid of bilateral hearing aids.
We also walked on campus to the world renowned, “Jacobs School of Music”, to see where one of my son’s best friends since Kindergarten is studying Composition. Steven realized that the Jacobs School of Music Main Campus…has replaced his childhood residence. A deaf school replaced by a music school. That is a lovely kind of irony, knowing that both of these very smart boys (reading at age 3!) were getting life-changing training in the same spot beginning 55 years apart, one of them from a musical family, learning the theory of music, and one of them learning the music of spoken language, and both training to thrive in the world, to follow their dreams.