For parents Rhianon and Julian, the impact of coronavirus has brought a new way of accessing Hear and Say’s programs for their daughter, Olive – right from the comfort of home.

Olive’s hearing loss was first picked up through the universal newborn hearing screening. Access to Hear and Say’s Early Intervention program enabled ongoing monitoring of Olive’s hearing levels, which led to her undergoing surgery to insert grommets to manage her middle ear health and hearing.

Rhianon recalled those frustrating early days bouncing between specialists, and the sense of relief that came with their initial visit to Hear and Say.

“Our first hearing test with Hear and Say was so quick in comparison to several other appointments we’d had elsewhere, and we finally had results!” said Rhianon.

“Not only did we have the answers we needed, but the audiologists at Hear and Say actually explained what was happening so well that I finally felt like I understood what was going on.”

Olive is now an inquisitive and bubbly two-year-old and attends fortnightly listening and spoken language therapy lessons at the Brisbane centre. During coronavirus, these sessions transitioned to telepractice – proving so successful that Olive’s family now plans to continue the online setting even beyond the pandemic restrictions.

“I love that while we have been learning at home, we are learning how to use our own resources in ways I never would have thought of,” said Rhianon.

“The idea behind the sessions is always to be training us as a family into bringing speech methods into our daily life. The transition to telepractice was made so much easier because we already had such a great relationship with our specialist, Claire.

I also love the encouragement we receive as parents, even during the online appointments. Hear and Say has been one of the only places we have actually felt acknowledged for doing the work we have been putting in.”

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