Many people think that having hearing loss changes a person’s ability to do normal things. However, this is far from the truth as people can still live a normal life with hearing loss. An adventurous 13-year-old boy with hearing loss, Alex proves that life with hearing loss is not so.
Alex Narcisse, a Texas Hearing Institute patient and Melinda Webb School graduate, was first diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss at 15 months. His mother, Holly, said that he was fitted with his first cochlear implant at two years old and got his second implant at the age of seven.
Although this diagnosis might discourage individuals from living a normal life, it did not stop Alex from trying new things. For many parents of children with or without hearing loss, the first time they see their child play a new sport can be worrisome. Holly said that her main concern was head injuries, but felt more at ease after reading blogs and testimonials of other parents who had kids with hearing loss playing and excelling in various sports.
Holly decided, “Let’s try it. Let’s see how it goes.”
And so Alex tried all kinds of sports! Alex started swimming at the age of three. Holly remembers that this was particularly difficult because there weren’t any waterproof cochlear implants at the time. Alex still learned to swim regardless of the obstacle.
When Alex turned four, he began to play soccer. The only adjustment he needed to make was to wear a headband to keep his implants from falling off. Once Alex entered elementary school, he began to ramp up his desire to play other sports.
“Alex’s school offered a lot of sports, and he wanted to play. And so we let him play,” Holly said.
During his time in elementary school, Alex played: soccer, baseball, basketball, rugby, and flag football. While he played these sports, the only items that Alex needed to keep his implants in place were a headband and a skullcap. Alex is now a fifth-grader spending most of his time playing lacrosse. Alex has accomplished so much in a short time. Holly hopes to inspire other parents with hearing loss to not be afraid in letting their child play a sport.
“I think it’s valuable to give your kid that opportunity because it’s a good
way for them to be social and meet other kids. I think it’s a good thing,” Holly said.
Holly also recommends that parents of children with hearing loss let their children play sports and allow them to communicate with the coach or teacher about the situation themselves.
Alex now has his sights set on playing football when he enters high school. His hearing loss has not diminished his pursuit to play other sports or his sense for adventure.
Go Alex! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish next.