Sisters’ bond is loud and clear
TRIPLETS Paula, Demi and Amalia love doing everything together.
“Although Amalia’s the leader – always telling the others what to do and how to do it – her sisters are always there at her side, to look after her and make sure she’s OK too,” the fouryear-old siblings’ mother Aspasia Paspaliaris said.
The care they have for Amalia is not just sibling love but because Amalia was born with a genetic condition that had left her profoundly deaf.
Amalia was diagnosed with hearing loss at three months. But, with the support of her parents and the Cora Barclay Centre, she is now fully hearing and speaking after receiving cochlear implants.
“We’ve been at the Cora Barclay Centre since 2016 and they have been extremely supportive,’’ Mrs Paspaliaris said. “They’ve also been welcoming of my other daughters and let them join in on activities so Amalia doesn’t feel different to her sisters.” Mrs Paspaliaris said it had always been the goal to get Amalia into a mainstream school with her sisters.
Amalia has intensive one-on-one auditory-verbal therapy at Cora Barclay, as well as participating in group sessions where the therapy is reinforced through music and play. It is also a chance for parents to share tips and bond with others.
“Amalia is doing remarkably well,’’ Mrs Paspaliaris said. “She is now saying sentences, can understand a conversation, knows colours and shapes and can count.”
Loud Shirt Day, on October 19, is raising funds for early intervention services and programs for infants and children who are deaf or hearing-impaired. Running for almost 20 years, it aims to close the gap in access to critical programs like family counselling, school readiness programs and music programs, as these services are not fully government-funded.