For 16-year-old Lucy, there was much to reminisce about when coming back to participate in the STAR Group Social Skills program during recent school holidays.
“My mum first heard of Hear and Say in a news article before she even knew I had a hearing loss,” recalled Lucy.
“I have been profoundly deaf since birth, and got my first cochlear implant when I was around two years old. I had speech therapy lessons with Hear and Say to help with my talking skills, where I learnt to listen to different sounds and determine what they were and where each sound came from.”
Lucy got a second cochlear implant around six months after her first, and now uses the Cochlear Nucleus 7 processors which enable Bluetooth streaming straight from her phone for calls, music and movies – a much-loved bonus for the busy Year 11 student.
Her recent involvement in the STAR program was Lucy’s second year attending the three-day workshop, which works to upskill teens across areas including resilience, independence and self-advocacy.
“I really enjoy participating in the STAR program as it is a great place to meet people in my age group who may be going through similar problems as deaf teenagers,” said Lucy.
“I have stayed in touch with many of the people that I have met through STAR, some of whom are now my really good friends.”
With favourite school subjects including Chinese and visual art, Lucy said being supported to learn to listen and speak as a child with hearing loss has made “an enormous difference” to her life.
“There is so much in my future that would not have been possible if I didn’t have access to Hear and Say,” said Lucy.
“Being able to hear, listen and speak makes it so much easier to be a part of such an awesome world and live my life with so many opportunities ahead of me.”