Team Category : All MN Regions Metro MN
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“I have experienced first-hand how the services that MNH&V provides, as a mother who first called MNH&V nearly 16 years ago, as a volunteer at events, and as the editor of the FOCUS Newsletter,” answered Mary as to why she wanted to become a MNH&V Metro Parent Guide. “As a Metro Parent Guide I hope to help support families with a child who is deaf or hard of hearing (dhh) just as my family has been supported all these years.”

Mary and her husband, Stephen, have five children; two daughters and three sons. Their youngest, Luke, is deaf and the older four have typical hearing. Luke was born in 2001 before the hospital he was born at adopted newborn hearing screening. Luke was later identified as deaf at the age of 15 months old.

“One of the first calls I made was to our local school district and they recommended I contact MNH&V,” Mary added. “The biggest take-away from that initial call to MNH&V was about communication and flexibility, ‘follow what you think will work best for your family and don’t be afraid to try something different if what you’re doing isn’t working.’”

Mary works in the graphic design industry and part-time as a program assistant in a preschool program serving students who are deaf, Deafblind, and hard of hearing. She has trained as a Deafblind Intervener and works with a student who is Deafblind one day a week and for special events.

“Combined, all my jobs together make up a wonderful variety of full-time work.” Mary said adding, “Every day I enjoy what I do so much the word ‘work’ does not seem appropriate.”

In Mary’s spare time she enjoys hiking, camping, and “thrifting”. She is an avid collector of rocks, arts and crafts supplies, and fidget toys.

When asked what she would say to herself if she could as a new parent of a child who is dhh, Mary responded with, “Yes there is a lot to learn, options to consider, and a sense of urgency when your child is first identified as dhh, but breathe and remember you have a whole lifetime.” She concluded with, “Start somewhere, but enjoy your child and the amazing person they are, too. And as they grow, learn, and begin to advocate for themselves follow their lead as much as possible.”

Name : Mary Stadelman
Designation : Metro Parent Guide
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