CCHAT Spotlight: Max Charter
CCHAT is gearing up for the 10th annual CCHAT Uncorked, a fundraising gala set to take place on March 12th. The theme for this year’s event is “Hoedown for Hearing,” and CCHAT could not have a more fitting event ambassador than Max Charter.
Max, a student in CCHAT’s preschool class, loves music and morning circle at school. But what he loves even more are tractors, dirt and working on his family’s farm in Arbuckle.
Max’s road to CCHAT was paved by his sister, Brooke, and with such great family support, it is no surprise Max is thriving on his listening and spoken language journey.
Chelsea Charter remembers the day she learned of her son Max’s profound hearing loss. The hearing rescreening was conducted by CCHAT audiologist, Dr. Katie Isbell.
“I knew what we needed to do the moment Katie told me he had profound hearing loss,” Chelsea says. “There was no down time with Max.”
For Chelsea, the diagnosis was not a surprise. Her older daughter, Brooke, was already in the CCHAT program, having also been born with profound hearing loss. Because of this experience, the Charters were prepared and knew the importance of securing early intervention services for Max.
Within 6 weeks of his birth, Max was enrolled in CCHAT’s Baby & Me program, and the Charters started their second hearing loss journey.
“Best Big Sister Ever”
Learning that your child has profound hearing loss is never easy, but the Charter family found hope in the success of Brooke. Additionally, Brooke became a natural mentor for her younger brother.
“Having Max be able to look up to his big sister and see she wears something like he does was very helpful in the beginning,” Chelsea says. “Now they have this unspoken bond between them. She is the best big sister ever!”
In 2020, Brooke graduated from CCHAT and began attending her local elementary school, while Max moved up to CCHAT’s toddler class. Though the two no longer shared the same campus, both continued to excel in and out of the classroom.
Bringing Joy to CCHAT
Now 4 years old and in CCHAT’s preschool class, Max has taken huge strides on his listening and spoken language journey this school year. CCHAT speech-language pathologist Michelle Harder says Max has a “heart of gold” and comes alive with excitement when talking about farming.
“Every morning, Max fills me in with ‘farm life’ highs and lows from the day before,” Michelle says. “His language is wonderful, detailing a vivid picture for me. Of course, I double check with mom, and Max’s farm stories always hold up!”
Max is a great example in the classroom and loves playing with his friends at recess.
“Max brings a smile to my face every time I see him,” says Donna Levin, CCHAT instructional aide. “He’s always very aware of everything happening in class and is quick to use his voice to make observations!”
The Excitement of CCHAT Uncorked
With Max set to serve as CCHAT Uncorked’s student ambassador next month, the Charters could not be more thrilled to share the fundraiser with friends, family and the CCHAT community.
“We are beyond excited for Uncorked,” Chelsea says. “I’m hoping to see many alumni parents in attendance, as they are a reason I survived this journey so far!”
Chelsea and her family are always quick to give back to CCHAT, as they feel forever indebted to the program that has changed their family’s lives. While Max excels at CCHAT, Brooke, a terrific reader and outgoing friend, is performing at the top of her class in the mainstream.
“From the beginning, CCHAT taught us listening and spoken language techniques that we are able to implement into our lives on the daily,” Chelsea says. “There is no doubt on how successful my kids will be because of the skills CCHAT taught them early in life!”
If you would like to join Max, the Charters and the CCHAT community at the 10th annual CCHAT Uncorked, click here for the event details. Read more about Max’s friend and fellow CCHAT preschooler, Nico Borgatti, in our recent student spotlight.