Chloe Reuber of Haysville, Indiana makes eye contact with her interpreter Kathy Buschkoetter as she hides behind her sign language dictionary to avoid looking up a word during her weekly speech class at Dubois Elementary School. Chloe, now in fourth grade, was born completely deaf. After a brief period of limited success with a cochlear implant when she was a toddler, the implant became infected and it was taken out.
Chloe’s classmates Chant Miller, left, Samantha Truelove, Kylie Morton and Eric Ehrhard looked to Chloe for guidance as they signed the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the school day at Dubois Elementary on Sept. 4.
Chloe yelled in protest as her mom Mary insisted she do her homework about idiomatic expressions on Sept. 30 as Chloe’s brother Zach, 17, looked up idioms that would be easier to explain to her. Things like idiomatic expressions are difficult for Chloe because sign language is very literal. Since she doesn’t hear idiomatic expressions in context she has to simply memorize what each one means though they make no sense literally. Since Chloe cannot verbally complain about having to do her homework, she finds other ways like yelling because she knows that it gets everyone’s attention.
Chloe scratched her ear against her shoulder to deal with the pain of an ear infection as her doctor Anna G. Gilley talked to Chloe’s grandmother Elaine Reuber of Dubois about how to treat the infection on Sept. 11. The infection was in her right ear- the same one that got infected after she received a cochlear implant when she was a toddler. The implant was taken out after the infection and sometimes the scar still itches.
Chloe and her friend and classmate Dakota Roach made faces at each other with their oranges at lunch at school on Oct. 21. Many of the students in Chloe’s grade can communicate in some way with her. Dakota is one of those students who has really made an effort to learn sign language.
Chloe watches her interpreter Kathy Buschkoetter as Dubois Branch librarian Anita Murphy read a book to Chloe’s class during a trip to the library during class on Sept. 4.
Chloe and her mother Mary both reacted with surprise when Mary got a makeup crayon to work again after it snapped in half as Mary drew whiskers and a nose on Chloe to go with her cat costume for Halloween on Nov. 1.
Dubois Elementary fourth-grader Samantha Truelove piled on Chloe who tackled Dakota Roach during recess on Oct. 21.
Chloe sat by herself in the hallway as her classmates lined up for the annual fourth grade Thanksgiving feast at Dubois Elementary on Nov. 26. Though Chloe can communicate with her classmates, sometimes she gets left out because so much communication is verbal.
Chloe let the wind blow her hair back as she waited for her mother Mary to spray her hair black as part of her Halloween costume before trick or treating on Nov. 1. In the next few years, Mary and Chloe will face the difficult decision of whether to keep Chloe in Dubois schools where she is surrounded by friends and family or to start attending the Indiana School of the Deaf in Indianapolis, almost three hours away.