A love of adventure is well and truly planted in 11-month-old Ayla, who already delights in playing outside, getting dirty and exploring with her older sister, Elle.
Just a few months’ shy of her first birthday, Ayla also adores reading books with her family – especially the thrill of lift-the-flap books. She also loves listening to her dad play guitar and singing together as a family.
These moments of music, laughter and sounds are made all the more special for Ayla’s family, following Ayla’s hearing loss which was identified days after her birth.
“Our first appointment at the hospital after Ayla’s initial hearing screening was a very overwhelming day – finding out the results of the various tests, that she would require hearing aids and the multiple services available, including at Hear and Say,” recalled Ayla’s mum, Lauren.
Within weeks Ayla’s family would go on to begin fortnightly speech therapy lessons at Hear and Say’s Sunshine Coast Centre, and also started attending the LEAP Group Social Skills program to meet other families on a similar journey.
“Our specialist, Liz has been wonderful with Ayla and is so passionate about what she does, giving us new tools and activities to do with Ayla at home. Ayla and her sister Elle also absolutely love going to LEAP – all the staff and volunteers do a wonderful job!” said Lauren.
“From the minute we entered Hear and Say, our anxiety and concerns over Ayla’s future reduced. It was hugely comforting knowing that our little girl’s speech and language development would be monitored, supported and that we would also be guided to prepare Ayla for the future. We definitely no longer felt alone in Ayla’s journey.
“Hear and Say have provided us with the support and reassurance we needed, knowing that Ayla will develop speech and language like any other kid and that her hearing loss will have minimal impact on her life or future abilities to achieve anything.
“For now, we are doing lots of reading, singing, playing and enjoying our baby girl!”