Wylder is one little boy who has proven just what is possible for children born with hearing loss in the 21st century.
When Wylder was identified as profoundly deaf through his newborn hearing screening, his parents were shocked and confused. Having no family history of hearing loss, coming to terms with his diagnosis was something David and Telarni understandably found quite difficult.
“I remember being on the phone to my dad and I was in tears, it was the first time I had really cried over it. I was just really upset for my boy, not knowing what his future would hold and thinking, what has happened?” said David.
“I was questioning everything and asking myself, what did I do wrong? Was there something I could have done through pregnancy that could have stopped this? Did I not eat properly? Did I not take enough vitamins?” said Telarni.
Like so many parents who discover that their child has a hearing loss, the confusion and fear was very real for David and Telarni.
“We just want Wylder to have access to everything we have access to and give him the best chance to live his life to its full potential. We want him to have access to the whole world, to communicate and interact in it just as we do by listening and speaking,” said Telarni.
Living life to it’s full potential
Not long after visiting Hear and Say, Wylder had two cochlear implants fitted and continued his listening and spoken language lessons.
“The switch-on was incredible for many reasons but it’s the moments that have followed that have been truly amazing. One of my favourite things is each morning when we wake up and put his cochlear devices on, he instantly has the biggest smile on his face and starts babbling away. This didn’t happen before the switch-on or lessons,” said Telarni.
For David and Telarni each day is filled with special little moments as they watch Wylder now experience the world of sound.
“I was watching a movie with him and a balloon popped on the TV and he jumped. Such a simple, normal reaction for most people but to Wylder it’s a whole new world and that is exciting to watch,” said David.
Since being at Hear and Say, Wylder and his parents have had their worlds opened to what is possible. Wylder has fortnightly listening and spoken language therapy lessons and attends playgroup to equip him for an exciting new future where he can listen and speak.
“Wylder loves going to playgroup, the interaction with other kids and hearing lots of different voices and sounds. David and I really like it to, connecting with other families has been really helpful and comforting,” said Telarni.
A supportive journey so far
Their son’s hearing loss journey has been made a lot easier thanks to the inclusive approach they have experienced through Hear and Say.
“Without the help of Hear and Say, this whole journey would have felt a lot more isolated. Everyone is really supportive. All our family members are encouraged to come to sessions and participate as much as possible – this is really important to us and helps with Wylder’s journey in learning to listen and speak,” said Telarni.
“Our experience of Hear and Say has been very much that of a community, bringing everyone along. Our mums were invited to Grandparents’ Day and got to see what we do when we come here with Wylder, so they can get involved at home as well.”
“When we haven’t been able to explain something about Wylder’s hearing loss, one of the Hear and Say specialists have provided that information. Sharing that knowledge and information with all of our family means Wylder gets even more support as he learns to listen and speak, and that’s invaluable,” said David.
A hearing future
Looking to the future, David and Telarni have no concerns above that of any parent. Early Intervention and technology have ensured that Wylder will be given every opportunity to grow up and not be restricted by his hearing loss.
“We’re very grateful for everything Hear and Say has done. It’s the first time in our lives we’ve had to lean on anyone for support, and we definitely haven’t fallen through the cracks.” David, Wylder’s Dad
Can you give the gift of sound today?
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.