Helping children to reach their full potential.

A grandparent's Christmas wish

Judy and Malcolm are adoring grandparents to two-year-old Elspeth.

The beginning of Elspeth’s entrance into the world was a whirlwind, filled with unknowns. She was born prematurely interstate, and it was at this time that her family also discovered Elspeth has two rare ear conditions called microtia and atresia, affecting her hearing on her right side.

Fast forward to today, and thanks to the dedication of her family and the team at Hear and Say, Elspeth is hearing and speaking at the same level as her peers.

“We were very much aware that there could be an issue but in practice it just hasn’t been there,” said grandmother, Judy.

“Elspeth’s journey has really been shaped around hearing rather than about hearing loss, which is exactly the outcome you hope for when your beautiful grandchild is diagnosed with these conditions.”.

“Elspeth hears what we say and detects where a sound is coming from,” added grandfather, Malcolm.

“She is always wearing her bone anchored hearing aid, and we are absolutely thrilled that her hearing loss has not held her back at all.”

Coming from a background in education, Judy could see just how vital it was to seek out support from Hear and Say, to ensure that Elspeth received the right technology and specialised therapy to teach her hear, listen and speak.

“Children that don’t hear, don’t learn. I think it also impacts on their behaviour in the classroom, and how they treat other people,” said Judy.

“I think it’s important that children with hearing loss receive the support they need so that they can have their optimum learning experience; it is crucial to their development.”

To help with Elspeth’s development, Judy will often take her granddaughter to LEAP playgroup, at Hear and Say’s Darling Downs Centre.

“I like the activities she does there, and I think it’s been really good for her gaining confidence with other people and interacting with children similar in age who also wear hearing devices,” said Judy.

Malcolm also very much enjoys being able to attend the playgroup when possible, and notices just how important regular contact with Hear and Say is – not only for Elspeth but for her parents too.

“It’s keeping connected with other people. It’s just as important to network with other parents and share ideas, and Hear and Say provides that,” said Malcolm.

This Christmas, Judy and Malcolm are excited to spend the day with their grandchildren and are elated that Elspeth will be able to enjoy all the magic of the festive season – from the singing of carols to the exciting crack of bon bons.

To enable more children to have their journey shaped by hearing, rather than hearing loss, donate today to Hear and Say.

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Maia’s Story

At 9.10pm on 24 October 2013 our beautiful daughter Maia was born. 

The moment of elation was short-lived as we immediately noticed her left ear was missing. I frantically looked to the medical team around me for answers but received none.

Panic set in as we waited 4 days in hospital for an ENT to explain her condition, by which point we already had all the answers from Simone, who runs the Microtia and Atresia Program at Hear and Say.

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