Lis­ten­ing les­son helps out

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Alexis Gill­ham alexis. gill­ham@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.

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