Why This Girl’s School Photo Made Waves in the Deaf Community



The sign of your kid growing up is when they want to choose their own outfits. Well, this happened when 3-year-old Kaylieann Steinbach decided to choose her outfit for school picture day. And she went with something pretty heroic this year–a Supergirl costume.

Kaylieann’s dad, Austin Steinbach, told The Huffington Post how much she loves Superman and Supergirl, but because she has profound hearing loss and cannot hear the letter “S,” she calls them “Pooterman” and “Pootergirl.” According to her dad, she insisted on her choice:

“She walked up, looked over each of her choices, turned and said ‘Pootergirl!’ And well, I couldn’t argue with that answer.”

Kaylieann’s school picture turned out to be all sorts of amazing, especially as she even brought her Superman action figure along. Steinbach said his daughter wears other costumes to her preschool–she’s dressed up as Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Anna from “Frozen.” Her school, he said, is very supportive:

“Her school is amazing. They always love and look forward to ‘the superhero of the day’ or what she’s picked out to wear.”

This past Tuesday, Steinbach posted his daughter’s school photo on Reddit and since then, he’s received countless supportive messages about her outfit choice–and why it’s especially positive for the deaf community. He explained:

“The reaction and turnout from the deaf community is amazing. I still haven’t been able to get through all the messages of support and kind words people have sent me. I could never have imagined how much her picture could have touched so many.”

It’s so amazing that Kaylieann’s school supports her choices–because children (and adults) needs to feel loved and accepted in order to thrive. We’re glad her dad also encourages her creativity.

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Joanna Valente

Joanna Valente is the Editorial Assistant at Kveller. She is the author of Sirs & Madams The Gods Are Dead, and Marys of the Sea (forthcoming), and received her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. You can follow her @joannasaid on Twitter, @joannacvalente on Instagram, or email her at

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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