The sweet sound of success thanks to medical assistance

Meet the Denner Family
Bradenville, PA

Charlene Denner takes the sparkly pink and purple hearing aids out of her ears and shows off the batteries to demonstrate that she can take care of them all by herself. In addition to understanding routine maintenance and recognizing that the battery needs to be replaced every 10 days, the precocious 6-year old has “adjusted to wearing them really, really well,” says her mom, Bethany.

Bethany and husband, Adam, didn’t realize at first that Charlene had hearing issues. “We just thought she wasn’t listening, not paying attention, like any other 3-year-old,” she explains. Charlene was in a Head Start program at the time and, when she failed two routine hearing tests, the family took her to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to see a specialist.

“Charlene now has hearing therapy five times a week and speech therapy once a week,” says Bethany. “Because of all the services and help she’s received, Charlene is right on track to be ready for first grade in the fall. We were worried she wouldn’t succeed.” Those services are provided through Pennsylvania state medical assistance program.

Money is tight for the Denner family. Bethany works full-time at Wal-Mart and Adam is unemployed. The medical assistance Charlene receives makes it possible for the family to afford care despite their financial challenges. “Charlene wouldn’t be where she is now without the therapy, hearing aids and services,” Bethany adds. “She is coming home with good grades in kindergarten and is even writing small sentences. She’s succeeding.”

Charlene’s younger brother, Adam Jr., turns three in July and is excited to begin the Head Start program. Bethany says his hearing is routinely evaluated, as well, to see if he also has hearing disorders. “So far, so good,” Bethany adds. “But now we know what to look for. And, more importantly, with medical assistance, we know who to contact for help.”

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