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For week ended June 06, 1999 Posted 19 Jun 1999

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Teen triumphs over hearing loss

Summarized by Eric Bunker

Teen triumphs over hearing loss
Deseret News 3Jun99 L5
By Jose Luis Sanchez Jr.: Deseret News staff writer

BOUNTIFUL, UTAH -- For 18-year-old Joshua Jackson, the sound of dripping water is a treasure beyond price. It's something he has been able to experience only since February when he obtained the most recent in a long line of hearing aids.

"I've been able to hear things I've never heard before," said Joshua, enthusing about his new aid. "I can even hear the buzz of lights and computers!"

All his life, Joshua has been struggling to hear and make himself understood. Learning to talk took five years of hard work at the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind. One of his ambitions remains to be able to talk to someone on the phone "all by myself."

"When I was young I had a very hard time. They were pushing me very hard. But they did a good job," Jackson said of his teachers at the School for the Deaf and Blind. Today, he understands people partly through hearing and partly through reading lips. Tutors have been available to help with what he misses in class.

His struggles have not kept him from developing a cheerful personality, a sense of humor or from becoming a popular student with a 3.5 grade point average at Bountiful High School. He is very outgoing and one of more popular kids in school and has no problem conversing with the opposite sex.

When he comes of age, Joshua he wants to go on a mission. It doesn't matter where, but he wants it to be a regular LDS Church mission.

"Some people say I should learn to do sign language and go on a signing mission, but I want to go on a normal mission . . . there's more people in the world who talk than sign," Joshua said.

When he comes back, he wants to become a teacher to help youngsters like himself. If there is something Jackson wants everyone to know, it's how grateful he feels to all the teachers who have helped him. "My teachers have been my best friends."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information