On school days, Mickey Partney’s mom, Nora, wakes him up at 4 a.m. so he can leave the house by 5:30. Depending on the traffic between their southern Missouri town of Potosi and St. Louis, he arrives at school between 7:30 and 8:30.
Nora’s dedication to her son has been extraordinary. She had brought him to the CID Joanne Parrish Knight Family Center twice a month for a short time as a baby. She and other members of her family have been able to make the drive to CID each day since he was 5.
After he turned 3, he received only 15 minutes of speech therapy a week in Potosi. When he finally enrolled in the CID school, he had a cochlear implant, but no speech. Everyone could see he was frustrated, but our teachers saw in him the desire and capacity to learn to talk.
Between January and May of his first year, it was tough-going in pre-k, but Mickey learned to say about 20 words. By the time he turned 6, he was saying more than 130 words and putting together short sentences. He knew his colors and could count to 12.
Mickey recently turned 9 and he says more words than we can count. Two years ago, he received a second cochlear implant and participated in a special class within the primary department called LEAP. There, he received intensive instruction in speech, language and reading as part of CID’s commitment to help every student get what he needs to catch up with his peers who can hear.
Mickey works hard and is serious about his studies. His teacher says he excels at math and has a playful personality. He talks a lot and shares an endearing smile — even in the morning, after a two-hour drive.