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Meet Ayla:

Ayla has profound sensorineural hearing loss. Last year her mother adopted her from China and she joined the Heuser family at the age of 4 ½. When she entered the building, Ayla, had one implant that was not programmed correctly. Once we programmed her implant, we then scheduled her for surgery to receive another implant in her other ear—a brave start for such a young child. She was scared, had no spoken language, could not hear correctly and would not connect with her peers.

However, we soon found something she did connect to… dance!

When Ayla experienced the Louisville Ballet class through Arts for Kosair Kids®  for the first time, her first true connection to Heuser happened! She loved the class so much she continued to dance in the halls, in the classroom and at home. For the first time, Ayla smiled a genuine smile.

Fast forward to the end of the 2019 school year. Ayla is now exiting our kindergarten program. She has two implants that work great. She is talking, but more importantly she is still dancing! In fact, Ayla is our lead in the school movie, “Giraffe’s Can’t Dance.” In all our years, we have rarely seen a child have more grace and love for dance.

Ayla is learning the language of words, but her first love will always be dance. Thank you to the Louisville Ballet, Kosair Charities and Fund for the Arts for finding Ayla’s smile!

—Debbie Woods, Heuser Hearing and Language Academy

Children with hearing loss often have diminished sense of balance and coordination. The Louisville Ballet residency teaches young kids basic motor skills, spatial awareness, social-emotional skills and more. FFTA thanks Kosair Charities for making Arts for Kosair Kids® possible!

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