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“Read my lips”

Words of President George W.H. Bush resonate


When President George H.W. Bush was running for re-election one of his campaign slogans was “Read my lips.”

Those are words to live by for a pair of brothers who attend Washington Schools.

Ganon and Kane Springer both suffer from Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct (EVA) which has robbed them of hearing.

Ganon, an eighth grader, is looking forward to going to high school and going to Mid-America Technology Center. His favorite class is design and modeling. He wants to study “mechanical stuff”.

Kane, a senior, has signed to play baseball at Murray State College in Tishomingo.

He’s the current catcher for the Warriors. He wants to study sports management and Kinesiology.  His favorite class is Aerospace Engineering taught by Shane Labeth.

Both said they pray a lot about their situation and both went to Hearts for Hearing for Audiology and Speech Services for years.

“The extensive speech therapy was our saving grace,” mom, Taysha Springer said.

Kane went to the special speech class until his seventh grade year. Ganon finished just last semester.

“I struggled with the consonant ‘s’,” Kane said.

When Kane was first diagnosed Ryan and Taysha Springer were told he would need to learn sign language and probably never be able to attend public school.

“My parents said, “No way,” Kane said.

They first suspected something when Kane would not turn around when they called out his name.

“We were getting a lot of ‘huhs’ and he was not speaking many clear words,” Taysha said. “They think he read lips from age 2-3. He went in for a sedated ABR test and was determined to have severe to profound hearing loss. That began our new normal.

“At the time, I was four months pregnant with Ganon but we were told it would never happen again. We prayed daily that Ganon would not have the same thing but God had other plans,” she said.

Ganon has a cochlear implant on his left side and Kane’s alarm clock shakes his bed. The same thing happens if the smoke alarm goes off.

Kane said he misses not being able to engage in every day conversation.

(When someone turns around) “I’ll say what did he say and they’ll say ‘never mind’.

Ganon says he misses not being able to do full horseplay with friends and the stuff they do.

“You have to surround yourself with people who care for you,” Kane said. “I look forward to playing baseball at Murray State.”

Ganon said he is looking forward to playing baseball under Coach K and have the upperclassmen above me helping me out.

Head baseball coach Jeff Kulbeth summed up the Springer brothers.

“It’s simple,” Kulbeth said. “They come to work every day. They are both really good leaders in our program. When you have guys like that it’s not hard to coach them.”

Taysha said their lives have been filled with tons of hearing and speech appointments in north Oklahoma City.

“We have never let the boys use their hearing loss as a disability and pushed them to handle adversity at a young age. We are blessed with an incredible community. The boys have amazing peers, teachers and coaches.”

“Kane’s new hearing aids are the first waterproof ones,” Taysha reported. “And Ganon’s cochlear has a waterproof cover. So this past summer was the first time in their lives they ever heard water or got to hear friends and music while swimming or being in water. So many things we take for granted.”

Taysha said they were determined they would talk, socialize and start kindergarten with their peers.

“They both have amazed us how they adapt using other senses and becoming champion lip readers,” she said. “They handle adversity incredibly well and live normal lives. So much that people forget they are deaf.”


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