Hawraa's First Word


Since the Al Obaidi family arrived in the United States last year, LSG has been working to help them adjust to life in their new community.  The Al Obaidi knew that their 8-year-old daughter Hawraa was experiencing some medical problems, but they weren't sure of the cause. When the family spoke to Hawraa, she didn't respond. As a result, she was not enrolled in school in her home country of Iraq.

When Hawraa came to Clarkston, she was immediately enrolled in school, but she struggled to keep up with her peers. LSG helped her mother coordinate with pediatricians and specialists. The doctors discovered that Hawraa could hear almost nothing and therefore was unable to communicate with her family and classmates verbally. With the help of LSG and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Hawraa was able to get hearing aids and began to speak the names of her siblings.

However, without specialized school services, her progress at home and in school was slow. LSG worked with the family to enroll Hawraa in a special program for hearing-impaired students at an elementary school that would focus on literacy while also teaching sign language.

On Hawraa's first day in her new school, her mother visited her daughter in the new specialized classroom. Hawraa was wearing large, very loud headphones and watching flashcards on a tablet, when she said her first word in English: "Elephant!" Her new teacher quickly praised a beaming Hawraa while her mother cried with happiness. Hawraa is loving her new school and new friends, and she proudly wears her hearing aids every day as she continues to catch up with others at home and in the classroom.