Better hearing hope for Julian
THE WA Newborn Hearing Screening Program (NHS) celebrated its 15th anniversary recently with a two-day training seminar at King Edward Memorial Hospital.
It was hosted by NHS co-ordinator Dr Marian Brandreth, Telethon Speech and Hearing (TSH) senior audiologist and Scanmedics clinical consultant Dr Kirsty Gardner-Berry.
The seminar, which included online and practical training components, also heard speakers such as Merle Klinger, whose son Julian (2) was screened by the program and subsequently diagnosed with a permanent profound sensorineural hearing impairment in both ears.
When her son was first diagnosed with the impairment, Ms Klinger said she and her husband were in shock and disbelief.
“It was the gentle but firm push for early intervention, led by the Telethon Speech and Hearing Program Support, that helped us and especially me through those first few months postbirth, which were the most difficult,” she said.
“Instead of sitting at home wallowing, another world was opened to us. A world for babies with hearing impairments, as well as a positive way forward towards overcoming the sensory loss.”
Ms Klinger said since being involved with the program Julian had improved tremendously.
“At six months of age, an MRI and CT scan performed at Princess Margaret Hospital confirmed that his inner ear anatomy was intact despite damage to the cochlea itself,” she said.
She said the operation took about four hours and was a success.
Merle Klinger and her son Julian.