Sis­ters’ bond is loud and clear

Sunday Mail - - NEWS - ELISA BLACK

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.

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