Wired for sound

At­ti­cus can hear with im­plants

Warwick Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - NICOLE ZURCAS nicole.zurcas@war­wick­dai­lynews.com.au

Four-year-old At­ti­cus Head un­der­went bi-lat­eral cochlear im­plant surgery at the age of two to give him hear­ing.

LIKE any other four-year-old, At­ti­cus head loves play­ing with his trucks, rid­ing horses and hang­ing onto ev­ery word his sib­lings say, things that he couldn’t do two years ago.

When he was born, doc­tors dis­cov­ered he had se­vere to pro­found hear­ing loss in his left ear.

For the next two years of his life At­ti­cus was in and out of doc­tors’ rooms as the hear­ing in his right ear de­te­ri­o­rated.

At the age of two, he had surgery to re­ceive bi-lat­eral cochlear im­plants, an ex­ter­nal de­vice that sends elec­tronic sig­nals to an in­ter­nal de­vice al­low­ing At­ti­cus to hear.

Now , his fam­ily has seen in­cred­i­ble im­prove­ments.

“At­ti­cus has come from not be­ing able to hear, to lis­ten­ing and speak­ing like any other four-year-old,” his mother Karyn Head said.

Be­ing hear­ing im­paired from an early age, At­ti­cus quickly de­vel­oped a spe­cial skill that would help him when he wasn’t wear­ing his im­plants.

“When he doesn’t wear the ear piece he be­comes a great lis­tener and picks up what we are say­ing by read­ing our lips most of the time,” Ms Head said.

From the ini­tial di­ag­no­sis, the Stan­thorpe fam­ily has been helped by Queens­land-based char­ity Hear and Say.

The fam­ily has had to rely on weekly speech ther­apy ses­sions via teleprac­tice and learn­ing ac­tiv­i­ties from the char­ity.

With the early in­ter­ven­tion, At­ti­cus will have the best start to school and have the same op­por­tu­ni­ties as his sib­lings and peers.

Ms Head said At­ti­cus’ older sib­lings Vayda, 9, and Fletcher, 7, were at all his ap­point­ments and were al­ways help­ful.

Want­ing to give back to Hear and Say, Vayda will hold a bake sale for Loud Shirt Day, to help raise money for chil­dren with hear­ing loss.

On Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 20, the chil­dren will be sell­ing out­side Soul Pat­tin­son Phar­macy, 44 Mary­land St, Stan­thorpe.

Photo: Elle Ram­pling Pho­tog­ra­phy

Photo: Elle Ram­pling Pho­tog­ra­phy

FULL LIFE: Af­ter re­ceiv­ing im­plants, At­ti­cus lives a nor­mal four-year-old life.

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