Lorilee Binstock 00:01:57
Welcome. I’m Lorilee Binstock, and this is A Trauma Survivor Thriver’s Podcast.
Thank you so much for joining me live on Fire side chat where you can be a part of the conversation as my virtual audience. I am your host, Lorilee Binstock. Everyone has an opportunity to ask me or our guest questions by requesting the hop on stage,
but we do ask that everyone be respectful. I will try to get you as soon as possible.
Today’s guest is Michelle Wagner, children’s book author and advocate for families with special needs children, the main character in her book series Mickey on the move, Mickey,
is Michelle’s real life fourteen year old son who was born with hearing loss in both ears and Where cochlear
implants to aid him in his hearing journey.
Michelle has dedicated her life to making sure Mickey has the best medical care and resources, and she insists families
as they work together through the different approaches to facing a special needs child,
Michelle, thank you so much for joining me today.
Michelle M Wagner 00:03:16
Thank you for having me, Laurie.
Lorilee Binstock 00:03:19
Well, you know,
I think this is amazing. You know, you we we kind of compensated briefly...
Through email, but you know, you talked about, I didn’t realize it, but Mickey was adopted,
and you didn’t know at the time during the adoption
There was any hearing loss.
Could you talk a little bit about that process
And when you discovered,
had some hearing loss.
Michelle M Wagner 00:03:53
He so we decided my husband
at time and I decided to adapt,
and I had had
cousin in Ohio had just adapted it to
from Russia, actually,
we decided to
do the same. We had enough resources, and I researched and met other parents
that went through a bay area here where we live
and then also
you know, with resources to help guide us through the entire process. It was long about a year and a half. And
when they finally
found Mikey for us and an orphan in Tomorrow,
who’s was about sixteen months old,
and we had to take three trips to Russia to visit him,
and he was so sweet and smiley,
we made a connection with him.
And they had just mentioned that he had ear infections, and it was twenty below zero in cold.
Lorilee Binstock 00:05:03
Michelle M Wagner 00:05:04
that might have been, you know, a significant factor, and he was also born premature.
And once we...
Once the adoption process
was finished, and we brought him back to California,
we shortly there thereafter realized
that he was not hearing,
and we took him to an ear nose and throat specialist.
to a special hospital Ucsf,
where an cardiologist
in a special team met with us, And they said he was
profoundly deaf in both ears.
So he had no hearing,
and they asked if we wanted a
hearing and speaking trials
assigning child, and then we would take the, you know, take it from there. And so we decided to give him every opportunity possible.
we he was able to get bilateral
implants, so that was implant in both ears, and it was a very
intense operation and time in our lives, and we had a way
you know, to be approved, and then to get the operation and recovery was a couple months,
then he was implanted and
his processors were activated,
and he was
three years old at that time.
And now he is fourteen, and he has thriving,
Lorilee Binstock 00:06:31
Michelle M Wagner 00:06:32
playing sports, and,
you know, we still do speech lessons every day, but the whole entire journey has been extremely rewarding.
Lorilee Binstock 00:06:42
Oh, that’s so amazing to hear.
You know, being being a parent
without having a child with special needs is is challenging.
Does it like for you through the the whole process and and and raising a child
now he’s fourteen with in thriving, which is incredible.
What would you how would you descri