SYSK: Deafness doesn't keep high school student from playing soc - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Deafness doesn't keep high school student from playing soccer

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

The soccer field can be a noisy place. Between teammates communicating across the field to the coach yelling encouragement from the sidelines.

Noise from all directions works against Cedar Falls sophomore Miranda Powell.

"I'm deaf in my left ear. I can't hear anything out of it, but I have 30 percent of hearing in my right ear, but with a hearing aid it makes it up to 80 percent," said Miranda Powell.

But even with a hearing aid, it's hard to hear with lots of noise. That's why her coach and classroom teachers now wears a special microphone attached to her hearing aid.

Miranda's soccer teammates have also adapted, using hand signals and other non-verbal communication.

"The best part is I've gotten so good at body language throughout my life, I could eye one of my players and raise my eyebrows and they know what I'm talking about," said Powell.

The 16-year-old thinks she was born deaf. She said her parents took her to the doctor after her dad tried to get her attention, and she simply kept walking away from him.

"They found out when I was going into kindergarten. So, I basically missed out my preschool year," she said.

Missing out on a year of schooling put Miranda behind in the basics. She also had trouble with her speech. But, she got a hearing aid and quickly caught up with her peers.

"This is my beautiful hearing aid," said Powell.

It certainly helps her compete as a regular player on the soccer field, which is exactly how she wants to be treated.

Some of the hearing in Miranda's right ear has decreased, and if it continues, there's a chance she'll get a cochlear implant down the road. But she's not letting her hearing trouble slow her down on the soccer field or in life.

Even though Miranda is only just finishing up her sophomore year, she's already thinking about her future. After college, she might go into health care or become a teacher to work specifically with children with disabilities.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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