Early Education Program

for Hearing Impaired Children

Sam C's Story

Having a child with hearing loss has many challenges and many rewards. For about 40% of families who have children with hearing loss there are other conditions or syndromes that also impact on the child’s development. As there are many more “unknowns” for children who have additional needs, the challenges for these families are considerable. We are grateful to Emily, Sam’s wonderful Mum, for her generous contribution below.

After failing two Newborn Infant Screening tests in hospital shortly after birth, Sam was diagnosed with permanent bilateral sensorineural hearing loss at just 5 and a half weeks of age. At 7 and a half weeks of age, Sam was fitted with his first hearing aid in his severe to profoundly deaf ear. Closer to the age of 1, he was fitted with a second hearing aid in his mild to moderately deaf ear. This was to ensure Sam would have the best chance of developing age appropriate speech and language.

As parents of Sam who is now soon to turn 3, it has been one huge roller coaster ride coming to terms with his diagnosis. This has included the fitting of his hearing aids, finding and joining an Early Intervention Program (EEP), attending many audiological and medical appointments and finding the cause of Sam's deafness.

The Early Education Program (EEP) for Hearing Impaired Children has been in particular a life saver. The staff, their expert advice and support services are second to none.

In Sam's short life, my husband and I have learned so much and grown in strength and courage. We have become more optimistic and perseverant and have developed a real admiration for Sam with the daily challenges that he faces.

Despite these challenges that lie ahead, we feel much better equipped to deal with whatever we are faced with thanks to the wonderful support from the Early Education Program for Hearing Impaired Children, the network of health professionals we are in regular contact with and the families of other children with hearing loss whom we are surrounded by.

Sam is a very tough, happy, outgoing little boy and has acquired age appropriate speech, language and development thus far. We now realise he is going to be just fine and we are so proud and grateful to have him. We couldn't imagine life without him and love Sam to bits!