CCHAT Alumni Spotlight: Noah Bixby


The adoption process can be one of ups and downs, and for Tina and Bob Bixby, their experience started with a curveball. When little Noah, at two days old, was placed in their arms, Tina and Bob were informed that he failed his newborn hearing screening.

The resulting journey became one of triumph, as Noah tackled every challenge that came his way and the Bixbys, with guidance from CCHAT’s life-changing program, made sure that he had every tool needed for success. 

Facing the Reality of Hearing Loss

Noah’s hearing loss was confirmed just days after birth. An Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test was conducted and the Bixbys received the news: Noah was deaf.

Never one to sit back when it comes to her family, Tina immediately began exploring her options. 

“After discussions with Noah’s audiologist, we made the decision to go the route of cochlear implants,” Tina said. “After Noah’s surgery, we attended the Listen to Me! summer camp for families with children that utilize cochlear implants to hear.”

At this event, Tina was informed that Noah could learn how to listen and talk. She also learned that CCHAT was a nearby program that provided listening and spoken language (LSL) instruction.

“We toured CCHAT not long after attending the camp,” Tina said. “The compassion the staff showed for each child and family was so welcoming. (They showed) the willingness to answer any question that we had and treat each child and family as individuals.”
CCHAT Alumni Spotlight: Noah Bixby

Calling CCHAT Home

The fact that CCHAT was more than 80 miles away from the Bixbys’ Fairfield home was daunting, but it was an obstacle Tina was willing to take on for the development of her son. Noah enrolled in CCHAT’s Toddler class just after his 2nd birthday, and their family immediately began making connections with CCHAT’s committed staff.

“Our little boy was so timid when he started, and he didn’t like anyone too close to him,” Tina remembered. “Judy, his instructional aide, was the most patient with him and in just about a week she was his person. She even took time to attend the finalization of his adoption.”
CCHAT Alumni Spotlight: Noah Bixby

Noah found his comfort zone at CCHAT, and his LSL and self-confidence skills grew rapidly as he progressed through the program. Noah may have been ready to join his mainstream school after kindergarten at CCHAT, but for Tina, parting ways from the program that changed her family’s lives was a bit more difficult.

“His 4 ½ years at CCHAT were too quick,” Tina said. “But to watch Noah come out of his shell and become this most confident little boy when he left CCHAT made all the challenges worth every tear.”

Luckily for Tina, the relationships she and Noah made at CCHAT carried on well past his graduation day.

“Noah formed a bond with Lisa, his first speech therapist at CCHAT. Lisa was very instrumental in helping our family best support Noah outside of CCHAT,” Tina said. “Licia (CCHAT’s Development Director) has remained a great source of support for our family when we need it. We consider our family fortunate to have so many of these staff members, not just as a support to our family, but as friends.”

Finding Success in the Mainstream

Now 13 and in 7th grade, Noah continues to blow past any roadblocks presented by his hearing loss. He is successful in school, loves music and dance, and no longer requires speech therapy services due to his vast progression.

“CCHAT prepared Noah by teaching him how to advocate for himself,” Tina said. “I believe that because of the intensive services they offer, Noah was able to ‘graduate’ from speech services in just the 5th grade.”

As is the case with many CCHAT parents, Tina now faces a new dilemma, one that actually brings some joy.

“Noah has the gift to talk a person’s ear off,” Tina said. “He is truly a special young man.”

Returning to CCHAT as a Role Model

While Noah continues toward his lofty ambitions of becoming a pilot, a model or a Lamborghini employee, his CCHAT journey will come full circle this month as he will serve as the Student Ambassador for CCHAT Uncorked 2024.

For Tina, the event will be a great opportunity to show others what is possible for children who are deaf and hard of hearing like Noah, who has “overcome so much in his 13 years.” She is proud to be an example for other families and is happy to lend advice to those in the same situation.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help and utilize your resources,” Tina said. “We are all on this hearing journey but at different crossroads, so there's so much support.”
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