S: Hear The World
BC: Judge people not by their disability, but by their ability.
FC: Hear The World Emilee Tucker
1: To anyone who has ever felt different from their friends, this is for you.
2: Dexter and Petunia were very happy. They had been married a few years and had just had a baby girl named Clarissa.
3: They made Clarissa their world, teaching her how to walk and talk. They loved her very much.
4: When Clarissa turned three, her mother decided that it was time for her to start preschool. She knew that Clarissa was very bright for her age and this was best for her.
6: Clarissa did very well in preschool, learning how to write her ABC's, and learning basic numbers. One day, a lady came to test all of the children's hearing. Clarissa didn't do so well.
7: The lady talked to Clarissa's mother after school that day. "I think you may need to take Clarissa to a hearing specialist, which is an audiologist. Clarissa did terrible on this hearing test."
8: Petunia tried not to believe what she was hearing from the speech pathologist. As she drove Clarissa home from preschool that day, she tried to hold back tears.
9: She felt as if she had failed as a mother. The possibility of having a hearing impaired child broke her heart.
10: "Can you turn up the radio louder Mama?" Clarissa spoke up from the backseat. "If you'd be quiet you could hear it." Then, she stopped herself. That was what she always told Clarissa.
11: As she continued to drive, Petunia cried and cried. She wanted to apologize to Clarissa for saying those things to her all of her life. How if she'd just be quiet she would be able to hear, but Clarissa couldn't hear.
12: The next day, Petunia and Clarissa headed to the nearby ear, nose and throat office. There was an Audiologist there named Katie waiting to see Clarissa. In a calm voice she said, "Hi, I'm Katie and I'm going to see what might be wrong with your ears,"
13: Clarissa's nerves got the best of her as she walked into the soundproof booth. "Mommy I'm scared," she whined. "It's OK. It's not going to hurt," her mother assured her.
14: So there they sat, Clarissa in the booth, Petunia sitting beside of Clarissa in the booth, holding her hand. Clarissa would raise her hand every time she heard the beep, which wasn't very often.
15: Katie had a nervous look on her face when she delivered the results to Petunia. "You see, Clarissa suffered nerve damage to her ears at sometime in her life, therefore she has a hearing impairment in both ears.
16: Clarissa sat there with a blank stare. Katie smiled and said, "Clarissa, you're going to need hearing aids, but it's nothing to be ashamed of. You're just going to need them to hear better. You're going to wear ear molds, and guess what? You get to pick the color."
17: This excited Clarissa. She looked at the many different color patterns to choose from, and decided on hot pink. Her mother looked at her in disgust. "Are you sure about that Clarissa?" She grinned and nodded her head. "Oh yes Mama! The kids at school will be so jealous!"
18: By the time her hearing aids arrived, Clarissa had already begun Kindergarten and had already made friends, but the day she wore her hearing aids to school, they were like different people.
19: One day as their teacher was reading a story, she came across a new word. "Class, what does the word seldom mean?" Their kindergarten teacher said. This was a fourth grade level word and she was sure no one could answer, but it was worth a shot. Suddenly, she saw a hand raise right in front of her. There was Clarissa, smiling.
20: "Clarissa, do YOU know what the word seldom means?" The kids in the classroom laughed. "She won't know!" Clarissa took a deep breath and faced her classroom, ignoring the laughter.
21: "I think seldom means not a lot?" She looked up at her teacher and she smiled when she realized her teacher was beaming. "Yes, yes! That's exactly right!"
22: That was the last day that kids made fun of her. She was accepted into the gifted students program at her elementary school, and by fourth grade, was recognizing college level words.
23: She excelled in every class, and eventually went on to middle school and high school, still doing phenomenal. Kids began to accept her, and realized that even though she had a disability, she was still their friend.
24: Clarissa would always say, "I may have a disability, but I'm not going to let that stop me from achieving my goals."
25: "I'm no different than anyone around me, I just happen to be someone who can't hear. Yes, things are a little bit harder for me, but I make it. I think I've learned to hear the world just fine."