My name is Shelli Janning. I am the Program Coordinator for the Nebraska Hands & Voices Guide by Your Side Program (NE H&V GBYS). I am also a Community Outreach Coordinator for the Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. I am married and have two children, Jerzie, who is a freshman in college, and Brooke who is a Sophomore at Blair High School. Brooke was born with a Unilateral Hearing Loss (UHL). Brooke is diagnosed with Mondini, which means her cochleas did not form properly. Her hearing loss has been progressive. Brooke was identified at 19 months old. She wore a hearing aid from when she was about 20 months of age until she was 11. Brooke had a catscan at 9, which showed she had Mondini. Due to her playing in sports and her rough nature, her hearing continued to decline and eventually became profound in her right ear. At that point she was a candidate for a Cochlear Implant. Brooke was approved for and received a Cochlear Implant when she was 13. Brooke is on an IEP and is mainstreamed in our local school district. Brooke is very smart, witty and athletic. I would define her as very strong willed; I am hoping this will serve her well in life. Brooke and I have learned so much from each other. For the last year Brooke has chosen not to wear her Cochlear Implant. This was a very difficult decision for us. We met with several people and had a lot of long discussions. Due to some other factors it just did not work for her. I do not regret doing the implant, I just wished the outcome would have worked for her. The path we have been on has really made me fully understand our H&V motto of “What works for your child is what makes the choice right”.
We enjoy spending our time at the softball field and chasing our kids dreams. I have my Master’s degree in human services and worked as a Services Coordinator for 11 years with ESU3. I truly understand how powerful the parent to parent connection can be.