Now You Hear It, Now You Don’t

Now You Hear It, Now You Don’t

Few things can be as baffling (and concerning) as waking up one morning and discovering that your hearing is completely gone. In February 2016, Elisabeth experienced sudden hearing loss in her right ear following a series of upper respiratory infections. She immediately began consulting with her physician in hopes of learning what caused it, and more importantly, if there was anything that could be done to get her hearing back.

After months of testing, Elisabeth was ultimately diagnosed with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL), commonly known as sudden deafness. SSHL is defined as a loss greater than 30dB in three contiguous frequencies, occurring over a period of less than three days. SSHL happens when the inner ear, the cochlea in the inner ear, or the nerve pathways between the ear and the brain become damaged. In many cases, the condition often goes undiagnosed. Ear specialists will contend that Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss is one of the most perplexing and controversial unsolved mysteries concerning our ears.

There seem to be many opposing thoughts as to what exactly causes SSHL and how to effectively treat it. Only 10 to 15 percent of the people diagnosed with SSHL have an identifiable cause. The most common causes of SSHL appear to be autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, neurological diseases and conditions, trauma to the head, ototoxic medications, blood circulation problems, prolonged exposure to loud noise, disorders of the inner ear and tumors on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain.

In the United States, the most widely accepted form of treatment for sudden deafness, especially in cases where the cause is unknown, is corticosteroids. If the condition is diagnosed and treated promptly, this line of treatment typically allows people with SSHL to recover quickly. However, when left untreated, many people with the condition experience hearing loss that gradually gets worse over time. Unfortunately for Elisabeth, her diagnosis of SSHL was made nearly two months after the initial auditory loss.

Sadly, Elisabeth’s primary care doctor missed the original diagnosis. When she was finally able to see an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT) who was able to diagnose her with SSHL, he was very concerned for her recovery as early treatment greatly improves a patient’s ultimate prognosis. Her ENT immediately put her on oral steroids, a diuretic, and a course of intratympanic (through the eardrum) steroid injections. Following this multi-mode treatment, most people who are going to recover hearing function do so within one or two weeks.

Unfortunately for Elisabeth, the test results from the audiogram performed two weeks later were not positive. The audiogram showed that she was still experiencing two modes of apparent hearing loss. It also showed she had almost no recovery at the key 6,000 to 9,000 Hz range of frequencies where her SSHL was most severe. The prognosis for patients like Elisabeth, who show such little recovery by this point in their treatment process, was very bleak. She was given very little hope that her hearing would ever return. Elisabeth was very discouraged by this news but refused to give up. She began researching alternative procedures for treating SSHL that are commonly practiced in other countries. It was through this research that she discovered Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and restored her hope of regaining the hearing in her ear.

Many of the medical facilities in Elisabeth’s hometown have hyperbaric chambers. However, since SSHL is not considered an insurance reimbursable condition in the United States, none of these centers would allow her to undergo treatment. Ultimately, Elisabeth’s research led her to Sara’s Garden. After her ENT cleared her to receive Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, she traveled to Wauseon to begin treatments. Elisabeth spent one week at Sara’s Garden, undergoing five treatments of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy before returning home with noticeably improved hearing. Nine days after her final HBOT session, Elisabeth returned to see her ENT for another audiogram. Tests showed that she had almost full hearing recovery!

Her ENT was shocked at the change in her hearing following hyperbaric treatments. He postulates that her inner ear benefitted from the treatment both mechanically (by alleviating the pressure in her ear) and neurologically (in helping the nerves and membranes to heal).

Elisabeth recently commented, “The first time I walked on a beach and could close my eyes and tell where the water was from the crashing waves was quite possibly one of the best experiences of my life. I have tears in my eyes as I consider this. Even now when I think of Sara’s Garden and the little town of Wauseon, I am moved by how much I owe them. Words fail to describe my profound feelings of thanks to Sara’s Garden.”

Thanks to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy services at Sara’s Garden, Elisabeth now has her hearing back. Her memories of Sara’s Garden and the big purple chamber are fond ones. She arrived at Sara’s Garden fragile, scared and hopeless. What she found was a kind and caring staff that gave her what she needed most: hope.

No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… for this and many other conditions. HBOT is treatment without drugs… without surgery… without pain.

Designer Purse Reverse

Designer Purse Reverse

Ladies, you’re not going to want to miss this event! Designer Purse Reverse is sure to be a fun-filled Girl’s Night Out with all your friends.

This is your chance to win beautiful handbags from the designers you love: Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren and Dooney & Bourke. Over 30 amazing designer handbags are available to win throughout the night!

You thought last year was exciting? Just wait till you see what we have in store for you this year… more purses, more games, more surprises, more chances to win and more fun!

Event Date:Thursday, June 8, 2017
Event Location:Founder’s Hall at Sauder Village, Archbold, Ohio
Event Time:Doors open at 5:00 p.m.  Event begins at 6:30 p.m.
Event Cost:$40 – Individual ticket  
 $320 – Reserved table of 8
  • Two (2) drink tickets good for water, lemonade and/or soft drinks
  • Beer, wine and mixed drinks
  • Appetizers and snacks
  • Raffles and door prizes
  • 50/50 drawings
  • Wine pull
  • Purse Sponsor – $100

Includes purse sponsor signage and program recognition.

  • Event Sponsor – $200

Includes event sponsor signage and program recognition.

  • Title Sponsor – $500

Includes title sponsor signage and program recognition.
Includes one (1) reserved table for eight (8) attendees.

If you would like to download a sponsorship registration form for this year’s event to print, post and promote click on one of the links below:

  • Designer Purse Reverse Sponsorship Registration Form – DOWNLOAD

For more information regarding event sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jackie at 419.335.SARA or via email at

Sara’s Garden is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is the only facility in the United States to offer Autism Intervention, Conductive Education, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration and Speech-Language Pathology services.

2017 “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble

2017 “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble

Sara’s Garden would like to invite you to participate in the 2017 “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble. We have put together a fun-filled day at Ironwood Golf Course in Wauseon, Ohio and hope to see you there!

Event Date: Friday, May 26, 2017
Event Location: Ironwood Golf Course, Wauseon, Ohio
Event Format: 4-Player Team Scramble
Event Cost: $75 per Player ($300 per Team)

If you would like to download a flyer for this year’s event to print, post and promote click on one of the links below:

  • “Drive Fore Hope” Promotional Flyer – DOWNLOAD

All proceeds from this event are being used to support the veteran’s service fund at Sara’s Garden. This fund provides scholarships for HBOT services to veterans returning from active service with Traumatic Brain Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sara’s Garden is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is the only facility in the United States to offer Autism Intervention, Conductive Education, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration and Speech-Language Pathology services.

Registration Includes:

  • Scramble format (4-player teams)
  • Green and cart fees
  • Range balls
  • Goodie bag
  • Contests and prizes
  • Awards for top teams
  • Lunch Buffet
Schedule of Events
7:00 a.m.
Range Open
8:00 a.m.
Shotgun Scramble
1:00 p.m.
Lunch Buffet
2:00 p.m.
Partnership Opportunities

Platinum Title Partner – $1,500

  • Includes one foursome, event promotion, platinum title partner signage and program recognition.
  • This level of sponsorship will provide 15 hours of HBOT treatments or up to 43 hours of intervention services.

Gold Event Partner – $900

  • Includes one foursome, gold event partner activity signage and program recognition.
  • This level of sponsorship will provide 9 hours of HBOT treatments or up to 25 hours of intervention services.

Silver Contest Partner – $500

  • Includes one foursome, silver contest partner signage and program recognition.
  • This level of sponsorship will provide 5 hours of HBOT treatments or up to 14 hours of intervention services.

Bronze Meal Partner – $350

  • Includes bronze meal partner signage and program recognition.
  • This level of sponsorship will provide 3.5 hours of HBOT treatments or up to 10 hours of intervention services.

O2 Tee Partner – $100

  • Includes O2 tee partner signage and program recognition.
  • This level of sponsorship will provide 1 hour of HBOT treatments or up to 3 hours of intervention services.

For additional information regarding partnership opportunities or team registration for the Sara’s Garden “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble please contact Jackie at 419.335.SARA or via email at

Please join us for a great day of golf filled with fun, great food, auction items, skill contests and fabulous prizes. Take a day off work for a great cause and meet some of the amazing people you are golfing to help!

Summer Camp 2017

Summer Camp 2017

A Summer Camp Like No Other! June 5 – 30, 2017

Sara’s Garden is once again offering a summer camp for children with disabilities.  This year’s camp will begin on Monday, June 5th and run five days a week for four weeks. Come experience a summer camp program like no other and meet families from all across the country.

Our group-based summer camp delivers inclusive programs that provide opportunities and interventions for individuals with a variety of conditions and disabilities. We serve clients with (but not limited to): ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), CDKL5, Cerebral Palsy (CP), Down Syndrome, Near Drowning, Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD), Spina Bifida and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Our caring and experienced staff of licensed therapists, conductors and paraprofessionals create intensive therapy-based programs designed to enhance your child’s developmental skills. This approach not only helps your child to work towards increased independence, it also keeps the regression of skills that typically occurs over the summer months at bay.

Our programs provide education, fun, intervention, socialization, and respite in a safe, accepting and understanding environment while creating new opportunities for development for individuals with disabilities.

This month-long camp experience is tailored to the needs of each child and family. We work with the families to determine what their goals are for their child to focus on. Based on the needs of the child, time may be spent on ABA programs, academics, relationship building, conductive education, sensory activities, special activities of swimming, music, arts and crafts, outdoor science projects and physical activities. Some families desire for their child to expand their fine motor, gross motor and/or communication skills. Others long for programming focused on improving behaviors, increased eye contact, socialization, self-care and/or emotional skills.

Our goal is to also serve the parents, caregivers and families that bring their children to Sara’s Garden for summer camp. We will be holding weekly workshops focused on assisting, equipping and empowering parents and caregivers.

We openly welcome any interested families regardless of diagnosis, or the absence of a diagnosis. If you have questions or would like any addition information regarding our summer camp program, please contact Val at 419-335-7272 or via email at Be sure to ask us about our sponsorship fundraising program!


Donate Your Old LEGOs

Donate Your Old LEGOs

Do you have boxes of old LEGOs laying around? They could serve a crucial function to the kids here at our school.

Most parents already know the benefits of playing with LEGOs. What many people aren’t aware of are the powerful benefits playing with LEGOs can have for children with Autism.

Playing with LEGOs can be far more than just a way to pass the time and prevent boredom. For many of the students we serve at New Horizons Academy it can boost their play skills, transform their social skills and build self-esteem. We’ve learned that LEGO toy building blocks offer a highly routine, repetitive and structured form of play that many of our children with Autism find appealing.

Building success… One brick at a time!

Our team of specialists have created activities using LEGOs that can be integrated into their curriculum and free time. These activities can be simple step by step instructions that help build awareness and concentration to free building time that allows for creativity. Group activities can be designed to help children gain skills in both verbal and non-verbal communication, sharing, turn taking, collaboration, and other social skills.

Don’t throw your old LEGOs away! If you have LEGOs that you no longer want we would love to have them.

For more information, please contact our school office at 419.335.7272 or via email at

Hope in the Midst of Life ~ January 2017

Hope in the Midst of Life ~ January 2017

Of Resolutions and Cups

I am not a caregiver of children any more. I am, however, a caregiver of parents. I need to say that first, before I say the next things, because this simple fact has such impact on all of my life!

If I have a “cup”, caregiving, despite the fact that there are joys, mostly empties my cup. Please don’t get me wrong… It is not all about ME – or I wouldn’t be the helper I am. BUT at the same time, it NEEDS to be about me. (It NEEDS to be about YOU too!) I love those I help; so much that my life is nearly engulfed by their needs alone. I am guessing that this also how it is for you! As I sat down to write this article, I noticed a picture on my bulletin board that says… “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Huh. Not sure I have been doing much “pouring” lately; least-wise not so well. How about you?

Here it is, almost the New Year. … and I am aware that it is time to think about New Year’s resolutions. I know this, (we all know this,) thanks to the many commercials like the one my Mom watches, with skinny girls in tights, twisting on plastic boards with big smiles, all-the-while – not sweating. They tell us, “If you just get this plastic board, in two easy payments, you will be skinny. What’s more… It is sooo easy anyone can do it, and you will find the happiness you’ve always longed for!”

“Are they kidding?” Despite my opinion, they are probably selling thousands of plastic boards, which undoubtedly take a lot of practice just to be able to stand on, let alone to actually twist on. Sometimes we are like that… we are looking for that something – to be more beautiful, to be happy, and to have fun… Some of us will even purchase a chunk of plastic to attempt to fill our empty “cups”.

Seriously, writing goals has always helped me focus and accomplish things… I need goals like – more sleep, more exercise, better eating, etc. But the real issue, the reason I seem to be avoiding this process nearly all together this year, is that there are some things that I have wanted to accomplish for a very long time… These are things that I start and don’t seem to find my way back to. I have good reasons of course. Things like – “Others need my help”, and perhaps more often – I am just flat out “too tired!” (Pun intended!!)

Honestly, I am afraid to write my really important goals down – largely because then I risk the disappointment of, yet AGAIN, not accomplishing them!

As caregivers, you understand what I am saying, I am sure. The ones we love and care for – come first – and our “stuff” always waits. Maybe the idea – “I could be two people and still not get done,” even comes to mind.

I’ve given my resolutions/goals much thought in the last few weeks and maybe I’ve figured something out… I just managed (a great accomplishment for me) to put a quilt in the frame for my first grandchild. I sit and quilt … and the motion and the “making” are restoring and refreshing to my soul.

The thing is, a quilt, even if it is crib size, is not a thing done quickly, just like my other important goals. I can’t sit at the frame one or even ten sittings and get it all quilted… and that is okay with me. If you quilt you know that it is the process that is almost as great as the finished product. So I sit down a bit and work on it here a few minutes and there a few minutes. As I quilted the other night, I had this thought… “What if I work on those things – my resolutions/my heart’s goals – like I am quilting… a little bit at a time?” (No Rhodes Scholar idea here; should have had it a long time ago!) BUT, what if I look at even my big goals like this??!!

I know this can work! Clearly not taking the time – even little bits at a time, to work on my goals, doesn’t get me one step closer to accomplishing them. And it sure doesn’t fill my cup! What if – a little bit at a time, I could work on my goals and actually do things that fill my cup? !! It may sound like a no-brainer to you – but I am just dancing with the possibilities!

So I invite you to consider: What are your resolutions, your goals? Can you start them and leave them “handy to get to” and return to them regularly, even if it is ten minutes here, and five minutes there?

Go fill your cup; even if it is little bits at a time. By the way, there is no guilt involved in this… because “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

May your cup be filling up this New Year!

Janet Miller  MA LPCC