YORKTOWN, N.Y. - If Eileen Solla-Diaz could offer parents like her a piece of advice, it would be to join organizations that can teach them more about hearing loss and connect them with resources to help their children succeed.
Now a mentor and treasurer for the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Solla-Diaz is speaking from experience. Her son was diagnosed with bilateral profound hearing loss when he was just 15 months old.
“We didn't have anyone in our family who had gone through this before so the people we met within the first year were invaluable,” said the Yorktown resident.
Solla-Diaz is now a board member for the organization’s New York chapter and a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America. When her son was diagnosed, she says those organizations were able to direct her toward other parents, speech pathologists, medical specialists and more. Her son Marcus is now in mainstreamed classes in second grade and has cochlear implants to aid his ability to hear.
"We accomplished getting Marcus to close his speech and language gap," she said. "We reached those objectives for kindergarten."
However, she says that won’t be stopping her efforts to raise money for a cure anytime soon.
Just last year, she and her family were among the top 25 fundraisers at the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Walk4Hearing. Together, they donated $3,700. She will also continue to attend conferences that keep her updated on the latest innovations in technology.
“I will always be involved in these organizations. It’s near and dear to my heart and a part of my life.”