All Ears! Listening and Language Center nominated for Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards

A local nonprofit is a finalist for a truly life changing grant, and you can help make a difference.

All Ears! Listening and Language Center in The Woodlands serves the deaf or hard of hearing. They provide audiology services for everyone from birth to 100, but their main mission is to diagnose babies at an early age so they can get the services they need faster.

Nolan just had his cochlear implant turned on, opening him up to sounds he's never heard like the voices of his own mom and dad.

He was born five months ago with profound hearing loss in both ears.

"It hurt to begin with.  We didn't know how to take it," said Nathan Behrends, Nolan's father. 

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The doctor referred them to All Ears! for follow up testing. 

"Right now, his brain is so adaptable, and we've learned through research the earlier you can do listening spoken language the better off kids do with learning," said Sarah Behrends, Nolan's mother.

All Ears! believes children with hearing loss can learn to listen, talk, read and write on the same level as their hearing peers. 

"The goal is for them to not miss out on slumber parties, movie theaters, all the things hearing children take for granted," said Lee Rech, All Ears! executive director. 

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It's critical those kids are identified early. 

"There is always that opportunity to learn sign language, but we find it's so critical for these kids that can develop spoken language that most families choose that for them," said Dr. Megan Marsh, All Ears! Audiology Clinic co-director.

This year the number of babies and toddlers treated at the All Ears! audiology clinic has grown more than 300%. 

"Fifty percent of our families are on financial assistance, and so with this growth we are working hard to not turn anyone away or put anyone on a waiting list," said Rech. 

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Chick-fil-A nominated All Ears! for its True Inspiration Awards program. The organization is the only local finalist in the entire southwest region.

You can vote through Saturday on the Chick-fil-A app for them to win. Select "rewards" at the bottom, then "news."  Click to vote on the True Inspiration Awards.  Choose the southwest region and vote All Ears!

"There is a potential to win over $200,000 plus grant money to continue the great work they're doing," said Kendrick Skipper, a local franchise owner. 

The future is bright for Nolan.  Just look at these kids enrolled in the All Ears! preschool program learning to listen and speak. 

"It really is a whole shift in the mindset that kids can learn how to do this with early intervention," said Rosie Hirschfeld, director of education. 

Winning the grant money would mean more families could get the resources they need faster.

"Without their help we would have never known what steps to take to get to where we are now," said Sarah Behrends, Nolan's mom. 

The Behrends family believes now that Nolan has the right tools he can dream big and do anything he wants in life.