Alexis’ hearing loss no barrier to learning during Hearing Awareness Week

Alexis with her parents Louise and Phillip

Alexis is receiving support for her hearing loss from the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) during Hearing Awareness Week, 25 - 31 August, 2013

Access to technology and skilled early intervention remain key to ensuring children with hearing loss reach their full potential. Newborns identified with hearing loss get the best possible start to life when they, and their families, receive immediate support and assistance through quality early intervention.

On average, one Australian child is identified with hearing loss every day. Alexis was diagnosed with hearing loss at birth and is currently developing her speech and language using two hearing aids and support from RIDBC Hunter.

“When Alexis was born and failed her hearing test we took every test under the sun to try and establish what had caused her hearing loss, but we still don’t know,” said Alexis’ mother, Louise.

“Alexis was fitted with two hearing aids when she was six months old and around that time we began attending weekly sessions at RIDBC Hunter, which has provided her with so much support in developing her speech and language.”

Since attending RIDBC Hunter Preschool full time, Alexis’ progress has accelerated.

“Alexis first started at RIDBC Hunter Preschool two days a week, and now she is there five days and her progress is really accelerating. With RIDBC’s support Alexis is developing the speech and language she needs to transition to her mainstream school next year,” said Louise.

“I’ve lived in the Newcastle area for ten years and never really knew about the work undertaken at RIDBC Hunter. Now I know the amazing work the staff at the centre do to support children with hearing or vision loss, it’s wonderful. RIDBC provides the best support you could imagine for your child.”

RIDBC Hunter Preschool is a reverse integration preschool purpose built to cater for the needs of children with hearing or vision loss and where children from the community also attend and are excellent language and learning models for their peers.

RIDBC assists over 3000 children with significant hearing or vision loss, and their families, across Australia.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in children's lives.  In order to maintain its intensive educational and research programs, the organisation needs to raise approximately $2.5 million every month.