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Echo Center Spirit Day Featured Special Guest Nolan Gardner

Nolan Gardner Echo Center

Echo Horizon was fortunate to have Nolan Gardner help us kick off our first Echo Center Spirit Day. Mr. Gardner has profound hearing loss and wears a cochlear implant. He is a teacher for children with autism spectrum disorder and he competed on American Ninja Warrior. Clearly, Mr. Gardner has a lot of interests! He told our fascinated students some of his life story.

 

Mr. Gardner was diagnosed with hearing loss at 6 months old and was given hearing aids at 7 months. However, those didn’t work well for him and he got a cochlear implant at 3 ½ years old. He’s the only person with hearing loss in his family. And in fact, he was only person with hearing loss in his school. It was up to Mr. Gardner to educate his teachers about his cochlear implant. He also gave a little presentation to his class at the start of every year about it. Extra accommodations, such as extra time on tests, preferential seating, and video captioning helped him in school. He also had the best friends and a really supportive big brother! (His friends wanted cochlear implants too!)

 

He loves sports and played many different ones growing up, such as volleyball, snowboarding, soccer and his favorite, swimming. The swim coaches would type out his workout in waterproof ink so that he could see what his drills were when he was in the lane.

 

Of course our students had a ton of questions for him! These included:

 

What was it like to compete on American Ninja Warrior? Awesome!

What’s your favorite place to snowboard? Mammoth

Do you still live with your mom? No (lol)

What advice would you give to kids? Be yourself and if you set your mind to something, you can achieve it.

 

Thank you Mr. Gardner for helping us make our first Echo Center Spirit Day so special!