From the roar of a lion to the squeak of a mouse, five-year-old Ella already has her sights set on a career working with creatures great and small.

“Ella loves animals – from turning our house into a zoo or animal hospital, to watching Bluey, to getting out her glue and colouring supplies to turn empty boxes into decorated cubbies for her toys,” said Ella’s mum, Stephanie.

Ella With Pink Hair

“She says she’s going to work at Australia Zoo in the animal hospital when she grows up.”

Ella was born with mild hearing loss in her right ear which later developed into a profound loss at 18 months old, due to an inner ear condition known as large vestibular aqueduct syndrome. After receiving a cochlear implant at two years of age, Ella began attending Hear and Say for specialised speech therapy and audiology appointments.

Stephanie said their family were continually blown away by their daughter’s ongoing progress, and felt grateful for Hear and Say’s guidance and support through a sometimes-confusing process of ensuring Ella could reach her full potential.

“Hear and Say came highly recommended to us by our speech therapist in the cochlear implant program at Queensland Children’s Hospital,” Stephanie recalled.

“We now see Hear and Say for weekly speech therapy, together with regular audiology and occupational therapy. The hearing in Ella’s left ear also has now has a mild loss, which is expected to worsen over time but for the time being is being closely monitored.”

“Ever since being fitted with her first hearing aid as a baby and now with her cochlear implant, Ella has come along in leaps and bounds. More recently we’ve also noticed a big improvement in her confidence – we are so proud of her!

“Hear and Say always feels like a safe place for Ella, and it makes such a difference that we can do everything in one place so it’s not so overwhelming for her. It’s been amazing support through our hearing journey.”

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