Isabella is ready for 'big school'

Isabella is ready for 'big school'Five-year-old Isabella (right) is ready to start ‘big school’ with support from RIDBC. Isabella is pictured with her little sister, Elodie.

Five year old Canadian born Isabella, who has hearing loss, is ready to start ‘big school’ with support from Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) and life changing technology – the cochlear implant.

Isabella of Randwick was diagnosed with mild to moderate hearing loss at birth following her newborn hearing screening.

“When Mel and I heard the news our first born had hearing loss we were devastated,” said Isabella’s father, Simon. “There is no history of hearing loss in our family so it was a total shock. We had no family support nearby as we were living in Toronto at the time, so this made it harder again.”

Following further testing Isabella was diagnosed with Pendred’s Syndrome.

“We were initially told that Isabella would not need hearing aids, but found out a few months later that she had been given an incorrect diagnosis – at 9 months of age she received two hearing aids. We also did the standard blood tests to determine the cause of the hearing loss, but nothing showed up.

“It was only by chance that the genetics department at the hospital offered to do more testing for us on Isabella, when our second child, Elodie, was due. It was as a result of this further testing, that we found out Isabella has Pendred’s Syndrome, which is consistent with gradual hearing loss,” said Simon.

Isabella’s family moved back to Australia in 2013, and a year later Isabella received a cochlear implant in her left ear through SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, a service of RIDBC.

“With the support of expert staff from RIDBC Matilda Rose Centre and SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, Isabella is now enjoying a new world of sound. She has amazed us and everyone at Matilda Rose with how well her access to sounds are with her cochlear implant and hearing aid. When she has both on, she is really just like any other five year old listening to the world go by,” said Simon.

Isabella’s life has changed for the better and she is excited to start ‘big school’.

“I think for us, and probably like most parents, we were concerned about when or if she would be emotionally ready to start school given what she has been through” said Simon. “This all fell into place during the year, and she is now more than ready, and can’t wait to start Kindergarten this year! The support we have received from everyone at RIDBC has made a huge difference and we now feel confident that Isabella has a bright future ahead of her.”

SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, an RIDBC service, is Australia’s largest and most comprehensive cochlear implant program, setting new benchmarks and delivering the highest level of care and support at every stage of the cochlear implant journey.

For more information about cochlear implants or SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, visit or call 1300 658 981.

RIDBC is a charity and Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with vision or hearing loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in people's lives.