Listening lesson helps out
BRIGHT FUTURE: Louise Rogerson and her son Alexander TOWNSVILLE baby Alexander Rogerson is learning to listen to his mother.
While not an unusual expectation of a one-year-old, this tiny toddler has had a few extra challenges in his short life – he has a congenital birth defect which has caused an underdeveloped ear and the closure of the ear canal.
The medical condition had potential to cause learning difficulties if not for the help of Hear and Say’s outreach program.
Alexander’s mother Louise said her son had been fitted with a hearing aid since contacting the organisation.
‘‘ We had heard all good things about the centre from friends,’’ she said.
‘‘ We’ve only had one lesson but they are about to do a home visit where they will give us lots of ideas and teach us how to teach him.’’
Hear and Say managing director Dimity Dornan said one of Hear and Say’s key projects was tracking the development of young children, from birth to three years of age, who were diagnosed with hearing loss at birth.
Ms Dornan said to teach children with hearing loss to listen and speak in the normal range for their age by the time they were ready to start school was possible today.
‘‘ About one in every 500 children born in Queensland every year is diagnosed with hearing loss and more acquire it after birth so there is always a waiting list," Ms Dornan said.
The Butterfly Appeal, held from March 28 to April 28, is the organisation major fundraiser for the year.
Ms Dornan said every box of butterfly merchandise sold during the appeal would fund one therapy lesson for a deaf child, propelling them one step further on their journey into the world of sound and speech.
Merchandise will be available for purchase in Suncorp branches and KFC outlets.
Donations can be made by phoning 3870 2221 or o nl i ne a t www. b ut t e r f l y appeal. com.