According to Clare Hopley, Director of Catherine Sullivan Centre (CSC), an early intervention centre for babies and young children with hearing loss, children with undiagnosed hearing loss display a range of emotions. Cochlear Australia suggest parents be mindful of the following:
• Sad - because they don't understand why people shout at them
• Angry and frustrated - at not being able to hear or communicate
• Shy - around people they don't know, as they can't understand everything they say
• Quiet and withdrawn at school - if they can't follow instructions or hear the teacher well
• Exhaustion - hearing takes a lot of energy. Children with a hearing loss are often exhausted by the end of the day
• Misbehaved - a 'behavioural problem' can sometimes mask a hearing loss in children. Often 'behavioural problems' result from frustration at not hearing well
• Low self-esteem – people and peers may conclude that a child is cognitively delayed if they are missing information and the child may start to believe they are not capable or able to do things their peers can.
Early Intervention is critical for children diagnosed with hearing loss. The Early Intervention Service at Catherine Sullivan Centre supports parents to maximise their child's ability so that all developmental milestones are met as well as possible. The focus is on explicitly supporting the child to achieve their developmental milestones so that they commence the school years with age appropriate language, social and emotional skills.
All weekly therapy sessions are conducted with the child and parent/s to achieved an agreed Individual Education Plan for the child. Over time parents become skilled and confident educators of their child as they learn to listen and speak. CSC only work with cochlear implants provided by the incredible team at Cochlear.
Does your child have a confirmed hearing loss? Contact Catherine Sullivan Centre on (02) 9746 6942 or www.catherinesullivancentre.com.au