Five-year-old Finn will be fitted with hearing aids next month, after a school hearing screening discovered that he had a hearing loss. Hear and Say’s Hear to Learn – School Hearing Screening program visited Finn’s school, in Brisbane’s south. He was found to be suspected of having a progressive middle ear issue resulting in hearing loss.
Finn was screened at birth through the Australia-wide newborn screening program and passed with flying colours, however more recently his parents Lucinda and Dale, had questioned if Finn was having difficulty hearing.
“We had recently noticed that Finn had the television and iPad turned up quite loud or he would often say, ‘What?’ and ask me to repeat myself,” said Lucinda.
“Finn started Prep this year and when the opportunity for hearing screening came up at school it was perfect timing because we had our suspicions.
“Soon after the screen, I got a phone call from Hear and Say to let me know there had been some inconsistencies, and we were recommended to take Finn for further hearing tests. We also talked about the shape of Finn’s ears which were both abnormal.”
Following further assessment, Finn underwent ear correction surgery, known as otoplasty, which enables his ears to better facilitate the use of hearing aids.
Matt, the Hear and Say screener who had visited Finn’s school, said his favourite part of the job was supporting children and their families when a hearing or ear health issue is detected, so that they could reach their full potential.
“Detecting hearing loss early can have huge flow-on effects for a child’s development and learning capabilities, as well as positively impacting family members and the community,” said Matt.
For Lucinda and her family, being involved in the Hear to Learn program had been invaluable.
“Having your child’s hearing screened through school is an opportunity that you can’t just overlook,” Lucinda said.
“You never know, you can’t see what the issue is unless you get a professional opinion – it could be life-changing for the child and parents.”
To find out more or organise Hear to Learn to come to your local school click here.
Together with our founding regional partner, Thiess, we have delivered Hear to Learn – School Hearing Screening to 23 Central Queensland Schools in 2019. Across four trips, over 860 students have had their hearing screened with almost 20% being referred for monitoring or further testing. “Thank you to Hear and Say for visiting our school and screening our students. We are a small rural and remote school and services such as yours are not readily available to families.
Your service provides an opportunity to identify barriers to students learning that might not ever have been picked up if you had not visited our site. Thank you once again, you provide a wonderful service.” – Theodore State