CCHAT Alumni Spotlight: Aria Lanuza

CCHAT Alumni Spotlight: Aria Lanuza
“The day I found out Aria was deaf was the hardest day of my life.”

Looking back, Vianey Bautista remembers the despair she felt when she learned of her daughter Aria’s diagnosis. Those feelings shifted to hope and optimism when her family found CCHAT. 

Now two years removed from her CCHAT graduation, Aria shows a determination that continues to amaze her parents and paint a bright picture for her limitless future. 

Finding a Path to Success at CCHAT

At 18 months, Aria enrolled in CCHAT’s Toddler class. She had just received cochlear implants, so sound and listening were brand-new concepts. Vianey was unsure of what to expect.

“When we started at CCHAT, I was still very scared,” Vianey said. “Aria had no spoken language.”

Aria and her family were welcomed with open arms by CCHAT’s dedicated staff. While the path was not without hiccups, Aria soon began to show the building blocks of listening and spoken language development.

“I worried about her future, but every single person at CCHAT assured me that my baby girl would be OK,” Vianey said.

Aria’s strong will and desire to learn only helped the process. It soon became clear that Aria was prepared to join her neighborhood school. While saying goodbye to CCHAT would be difficult after four years in the program, Vianey found a sense of peace in knowing that Aria could handle the change.

“Aria was more than ready for the mainstream,” Vianey said. “Thanks to CCHAT, she was ahead of her peers academically. She was also able to manage her equipment independently and had the confidence to make new friends with her hearing peers all on her own.”

Continuing to Thrive

Aria just completed her second academic year in the mainstream, finishing the 1st grade. She excels in math and reading, and she has also taken an interest in basketball and karate. 

Aria’s hearing loss has not prevented her from creating social bonds. She loves talking with her friends, and her strong communication skills have allowed her to integrate into a number of extracurricular activities.

“I would have never imagined the sassy, loud and talkative little girl I have now,” Vianey said.

The future now looks bright for Aria and her family. Her current goal is to become a chef, and with how far she has come to this point, nobody will be surprised when she achieves it. 

“CCHAT changed our lives,” Vianey said. “My hopes are that she never gives up on the things she wants to do because she has already overcome so many odds and obstacles.”

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