Since there were no children’s books about children with hearing aids, a Grandmother decides to write one. This is an endearing story about not wanting her Grandchild to be labeled or judged by others because of her hearing aids.
Two-year-old Kena didn’t notice that her hearing aids were attracting attention during storytime at the library—but her mom did. “I can’t let other kids define who Kena is,” her mom, Krystyna, confided to Kena’s grandmother that evening. “I want her to be fierce.”
The conversation resonated with Grandma Becky Cymbaluk, so she started writing. When she finally put down her pen, her granddaughter was a superhero in a children’s book titled “Super Kena, A Girl Made Fierce with Hearing Aids.”
Grandma Cymbaluk said she wrote the book because she couldn’t find any children’s books with characters who wore hearing aids.
As she thought more about content, she realized she wanted to include other children who might be struggling with challenges day to day and drew on personal experience to create the characters. Her daughter, Anna, now a pediatric endocrinologist, encouraged Cymbaluk to include a diabetic in the book. Her son, who used to stutter, saw a speech therapist and was in a wheelchair for a time after surgery. Kena’s mom, Krystyna is a teacher and had children with peanut allergies in her past classes. Cymbaluk, herself an asthmatic, included a child who needed an inhaler.
The colorfully illustrated book stars Kena, a girl with hearing aids, as she works through issues with classmates who don’t understand her hearing loss. With the help of her mom, Kena realizes her hearing aids give her ears “super powers” and makes plans to form a team of her other differently-abled friends in an effort to explain their super powers to the class during Show and Tell.
Kena was born with mondini dysplasia, an inner ear malformation that is present at birth. While normal cochleas (the snail-shaped part of the inner ear) have two coils, those with mondini dysplasia only have one and a half coils. The rare disease can affect one or both ears and occurs in the seventh week of gestation.
Kena, who has mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, received her first hearing aid at three and a half months. She was 18 months old when she received a second hearing aid in the other ear.
Read the full story and how to order a book for a child you know with hearing aids by Clicking Here.
We are here to help if you or a family member is having any difficulties with hearing, hearing aids, or Tinnitus please give us a call at 727-323-2471 and set up an appointment. We can help you.
Susan E. Terry, Au.D., F-AAA, F-NAP
Doctor of Audiology
P.S. We are here to help if you have any questions about your hearing, feel free to give us a call at 727-323-2471