Helping children to reach their full potential.

Changing attitudes and a future full of opportunity

Sarah is a Townsville mum to three beautiful girls. Having a hearing loss has impacted Sarah’s life in many ways, and when her second child, Naomi was also diagnosed with a hearing loss it brought up all kinds of emotions.

“It was initially pretty rough, as my husband, Daniel and I already knew Naomi had Down syndrome and were coming to terms with that, and then we found out she also has a hearing impairment,” said Sarah.

“However, as emotional as I felt to start with, becoming connected with services like Hear and Say and meeting people who are on similar journeys was comforting and somewhat therapeutic for me. While Naomi will still face challenges, there are resources available now that weren’t around when I was a kid.”

Naomi, now a cheeky and inquisitive three years old, receives listening and spoken language therapy and audiology support from Hear and Say, and continues to make wonderful strides as she learns to listen and speak with the use of two hearing aids.

“It has been so special watching Naomi learn comprehension, listening skills and seeing her connect with the people around her,” said Sarah.

For Sarah and Daniel, they wanted to do everything they could to give their daughter the best possible access to sound and help her reach her full potential.

“I’m really excited that Naomi will hopefully be going to kindy next year. A big worry I had when she was born was that she would be very delayed in reaching milestones, but we’re thrilled that it’s looking like Naomi can attend kindy at the same age as her peers,” said Sarah.

This World Down Syndrome Day, Sarah is thankful for all the opportunities Naomi has laid out before her.

“There has been a change in society towards disability, and it’s fantastic to see more and more people, particularly people with Down syndrome, empowered to have jobs and just do life. We are so grateful for what this will mean for our daughter as she grows up.”

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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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