Stephen’s Story as Told by Beginnings & His Mom

Young boy wearing green and blue PJs, leaning against a green wall.

Little Stephen has been through a lot. But thanks to Ms. Tracy and Mr. Billy, he has started living a whole new life. You see, he spent his first three years bouncing from hotel to hotel, only understanding how to get his needs met by screaming and throwing tantrums, and he rarely had enough to eat (when Ms. Tracy and Mr. Billy got him, he still only drank from bottles and wouldn’t eat solid food). Now Stephen knows more signs than Ms. Tracy and Mr. Billy do! He wears his hearing aids all day every day and is sure to tell his family and his teachers when they aren’t working.

When Stephen came to live with his wonderful new family, they weren’t sure what to do. Ms. Tracy was overwhelmed with the list of needs that Stephen had, and most folks had told her they didn’t know what to do. But, that isn’t what we at Beginnings told her after we met.

During a home visit – thanks to your gifts – we gave her ideas, information, resources, direction, and support. We helped her understand HOW he communicated and WHY. We explained HOW he was used to getting his needs met, and HOW they would have to work to undo that and teach him new methods. We helped Stephen’s school understand his needs and helped his family advocate for the right services. We helped them find an audiologist and developmental pediatrician who could understand Stephen’s needs and meet them. We connected them with a Deaf mentor who visits them in their home twice each week to help them improve their signing skills so that they can help Stephen improve his communication.

Ms. Tracy and Mr. Billy are amazing people who had the love and kindness that Stephen needed to have a good life. What they didn’t have were the answers to his hearing loss needs, and that is where we at Beginnings came in.

“Yes, Stephen was a little handful when we got him. Thanks to the people at Beginnings and Patrick, who was our sign language teacher, we have come a very long way. We went to the Walterboro Christmas parade last night, and I want to say how wonderful it was to hear Stephen holler ‘Merry Christmas’ as the floats went by. He could identify some of the floats, and he was saying their names so clearly. Beginnings gives to so many people and so many children. I live in Colleton County where there is no help for deaf children. Please open up your heart and help them today. And Stephen says ‘Merry Christmas.'” – Ms. Tracy