Kerrie and Mia Arnott are one impressive mother-daughter duo.
Born with cerebral palsy, Mia was 15 months old when her family received the staggering news that she was profoundly deaf in both ears.
By the time Mia reached her second birthday she had her first cochlear implant, opening her up to an exciting new world of sound and language.
After initially receiving support in Sydney from The Shepard Centre, Mia and Kerrie would make the move from New South Wales to Queensland, and looked to Hear and Say for Mia’s listening and spoken language support.
“When we started, the Hear and Say Centre was based from a little shopfront in Nambour, on the Sunshine Coast, where we were attending playgroup and having lessons in the storeroom,” Kerrie reflects with a laugh.
In the months to follow, Hear and Say moved into what is now their beautiful Sunshine Coast Centre.
Mia was six years old when she received her second cochlear implant. She flourished at her local mainstream school at the age of 5 in Prep, while also attending weekly listening and spoken language lessons and audiology appointments at Hear and Say.
When asked what her hearing journey was like in primary school, Mia’s response highlighted the love and determination of her mum.
Mia explained how her mum went to all lengths to ensure that her school was the optimal environment for her to learn. In assessing how Mia could best utilise the classroom to learn, Kerrie was also assisting other children with learning difficulties, making the space as conducive to learning as possible.
Today Mia is an ambitious, outgoing 20-year-old, studying Counselling at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
While still undecided as to what career path she will ultimately go down, Mia has a passion for helping other young people and has aspirations to assist those struggling with homelessness or substance abuse.
In the next few years Mia also hopes to travel the world, inspired by her adventure-loving mum to visit Europe and “other places overseas that I know my mum visited when she was younger.”
Kerrie highlighted the importance of Hear and Say in their family’s journey, and how the combination of early diagnosis, hearing technology and listening and spoken language therapy has worked to help Mia to achieve these incredible outcomes.
“Hear and Say provides an invaluable service, and really helps to normalise your life when it’s in chaos. What Hear and Say does is teach the parents how to teach the kids, and without their support Mia wouldn’t have the range of speech that she has. Most people don’t even know that she has hearing loss when they speak to her!”
To support Sunshine Coast children like Mia to learn to hear, listen and speak and reach their full potential, Hear and Say is hosting a Trivia Night on Saturday, 14 September 2019 from 6.30pm, at Nambour State College. The theme of the evening is “Loud Shirt”, with attendees encouraged to come dressed in their most colourful outfits.