Diana, Alex, Phillip, and Nickolas
We are a Trakhman family. Diana is a registered nurse and Alex is self-employed. We are parents of 2 boys. Phillip is 16 y.o. and Nickolas is 8 y.o. Nickolas is normal hearing. Phillip is our child who is hard of hearing and has special needs. He was born in 2002, had normal newborn hearing test at birth. Growing up, he had speech and articulation difficulties, and we initially thought it was an English learning issue as we are a bilingual family and spoke Russian at home mostly.
When Phillip was in Kindergarten, around 6 y.o, he had learning difficulties and his teachers suspected hearing loss. Because Phillip had always been verbal and talking, and he had some “good hearing days”, it was very difficult to diagnose him. He also had some language difficulties and difficulties making friends, communicating and maintaining peer relationship, so a lot of his challenges were thought to be because of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Phillip was diagnosed with Auditory Neuropathy via ABR that was done properly when he was asleep. We started process of Cochlear Implant evaluation and Phillip got his 1st CI in October 2013 when he was almost 12 y.o.
Phillip is now 16 yo. He has a Cochlear Implant and a Hearing Aid and actively learning ASL. He is a 10th grader in High school! He is being mainstreamed for all but 1 class and planning to take all mainstream class and maybe an AP Classes next year. He has an amazing DHH Resource teacher, uses FM System, CART. He still has support of Speech Therapy and Counseling at school. Phillip loves swimming, hiking and playing video games. He is learning how to drive now- that is becoming one of his favorite activities. We love traveling as a family and exploring new cities.
Having a DHH child had open a door for so many opportunities for our family. We are learning ASL as a family. He is a great role model for his brother. We had done multiple Family Camps and events through California Hands and Voices Family camps and CSDR. Phillip performed in a few Theater Productions with No Limits for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children in Los Angeles and still an active member of No Limits Teen Leadership Club. He has gone to DHH Teen camps in RIT/ NTID and Fresno State University, visited Gallaudet. Although he is still struggling with peer relationships, he is making progress every day. He has big plans for his future and we believe that with his hard work and perseverance, he could do anything he wants in life.