Young UTD Callier Center Patient With Cochlear Implant Receives Gift from Dallas Elk Lodge No. 71

A three-year-old patient with a cochlear implant has received a rare gift from Dallas Elks Lodge No.71 and the Prosthetic Grant Program of the Texas Elks Children’s Services – free speech-language therapy and audiology services for the next year at The University of Texas at Dallas’ Callier Center for Communication Disorders.

The boy, deaf since birth, was implanted with a cochlear implant at the age of two, and that has enabled him to hear processed sound. But he still has years of therapy ahead of him as he learns how to use his cochlear implant, which is an electronic device designed to deliver electrical stimulation to the inner ear. The implant consists of two parts, an internal device that is surgically implanted, and an external component consisting of a speech processor and headset. Once implanted, weekly speech-language therapy sessions are required to assist in the development of more intelligible speech.

“The device does not restore normal hearing,” explained Melissa Sweeney, a speech-language at the Callier Center. “Instead, it provides complex electrical patterns that the child must learn to interpret as speech. He must complete an extensive communication auditory/listening training program to help him interpret what is heard through the device.”

The gift was formally presented to Callier’s director, Dr. Ross Roeser, during a special Elk’s Lodge awards event. Roeser was accompanied by Sweeney, along with the child and family that qualified for the program.

“With the help of the Elk’s grant, one of Callier’s cochlear implant clients will be able to obtain the intervention services he needs,” Roeser said. “Next year’s funding will no longer be an obstacle for the child’s family, and we are hopeful that he will be able to reach an optimal level of listening and speech skills,” Roeser added.

About the Elks

The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks is one of the oldest and largest fraternal organizations in the country. Since its inception in 1868, the Order of Elks has grown to include nearly 1.2 million men and women in more than 2,000 communities. The Elks have demonstrated their compassion for the veterans of armed forces through a number of programs and activities. In fact, thousands of individuals are helped whenever in need through the Elks disaster relief programs, including the families victimized by the Oklahoma City bombing, for which the Elks raised more than $230,000.

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 7,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s Web site at

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