The smile on Isaac’s face says it all as he ‘shows off’ his new uniform in preparation for the first day at ‘big’ school.
For parents Michelle and Charlie Chen this milestone is one that was originally fraught with uncertainty. Isaac was born with lesser known congenital birth defect ‘Microtia and Atresia’ which resulted in a deformed outer right ear and has impacted his hearing.
At just a few months of age, Isaac’s parents joined Hear and Say’s Early Intervention and Microtia and Atresia Support Programs, and more recently have travelled to the US to receive reconstructive surgery on Isaac’s ear.
Mum, Michelle said;
“Hear and Say has been a ‘one stop shop’ providing audiology, speech and language therapy lessons, and very importantly the support we needed to better understand Microtia and Atresia.
“Charlie and I cannot thank Hear and Say enough for what they have done for Isaac. His speech and language is on par with his hearing peers, and he is a happy and sociable little boy. We are very proud of him and feel confident he will do well when he starts Prep in just a few weeks’ time”.
Hear and Say’s support of children like Isaac doesn’t end when they transition to school. Isaac’s Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Ms Emma Fraser said, steps are in place to ensure that the school and his teacher are aware that Isaac has Microtia and Atresia; that sound acoustics in the classroom will be monitored; and that he is prepared to answer questions about his ear, and to speak up in class if he has difficulty hearing.
“We know that correct acoustics in the classroom will not just help Isaac but can benefit all children as well as reduce strain on the teacher’s voice, a win-win for everyone in the classroom,” Ms Fraser said.