RIDBC celebrates inspiring Mothers on Mother’s Day

Holly celebrates Mother’s Day with her daughter Koko.Holly celebrates Mother’s Day with her daughter Koko.
For Little Bay mother, Holly Karten, Mother's Day is particularly special with thanks to support from Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC).
At just 9 months of age, Holly’s daughter Koko was diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome. 
“When we were first told that Koko was Deafblind we imagined that she would be cut off from the world – how wrong we were! Thanks to the brilliant and supportive team of specialists at RIDBC, she has come along in leaps and bounds.
“Something we had discovered dealing with the complex world of our daughter’s medical needs was that it can be very hard to receive cross-disciplinary communication between medical professionals. At RIDBC we have access to an early learning vision consultant, speech pathologist, physiotherapist and audiologist who all work together to support not only Koko, but also myself and Joe,” said Holly.
Koko is now 18 months old and is learning new skills with support from RIDBC Matilda Rose Centre, which provides services to families looking to access the expert advice and support that will allow their child to develop relationships, communication and language.
“With the help of RIDBC Speech Pathologist, Caren, Koko has now begun to put sentences together and sings songs, has been introduced to basic sign language and knows all her animal noises and other crucial toddler words like ‘more’ and ‘finished’.
“RIDBC has helped us to unlock her potential and allowed Koko to express herself so that she can share her radiant light with the world!” 
Koko recently received her first cochlear implant through RIDBC. 
“Before switch on, Koko kind of growled like a little wolf cub. Once she began to learn how to use her cochlear implant, after one week, I noticed gorgeous little cheeping tones and now, six months on she is speaking in sentences! It’s truly miraculous!
Holly says that services provided through RIDBC have been an essential support to her as a mum. 
“From the moment we met each of our RIDBC specialists, they have helped to support our little family in the most understanding way, and helped us to create a home environment that gives Koko a happy and secure start to life. 
"Mother's Day for me means reflecting on the huge honour and privilege of being Koko's mother. When we had our 20 week scan, we knew that Koko's situation was going to be complex but not much more. For me, holding her on Mother's Day and hearing the sweet sound of her saying "mumma" is the huge reward for saying "yes" to life's challenges. I feel so incredibly lucky to have her in my life,” said Holly.
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.