Whether it’s racing around the soccer field, enjoying nature on a camping trip or chatting with mates in the playground, there are few better things for 11-year-old Liam than the sounds of being outdoors.

Liam told us how much he loves sport, school and trips to the beach. His jam-packed schedule also includes a fortnightly visit to the Hear and Say. It’s there he undertakes specialised speech therapy known as auditory learning, to assist with his latest high-tech accessory to assist with his hearing loss – an off-the-ear cochlear implant processor (pictured below).

“I only have hearing loss in my right ear, and perfect hearing in my left,” explained Liam.

“My cochlear implant helps me hear my friends better when we are having conversations. It also helps me to locate where I’m being called from, as I can now tell which direction sound is coming from.”

Initially diagnosed while in Prep, Liam wore a hearing aid for a number of years until his hearing loss deteriorated to a stage where a cochlear implant offered him the best opportunity for clear sound. It was an exciting and emotional day when Liam’s new processor was switched on for the first time at Hear and Say.

“It was worth the wait – I love having my cochlear implant!” said Liam.

Liam has already progressed leaps and bounds in his hearing and speech since his cochlear implant, and will continue to attend auditory learning sessions to optimise his listening outcomes.

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Read about the 300 babies born with hearing loss in Australia each year, and how Hear and Say continued to change lives this year.

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Spotlight on single-sided deafness

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Cycling and hearing loss: staying safe on the roads

“People kept mentioning to me that I was missing parts of conversations, and in crowded environments I was finding it very difficult to hear and engage with others."

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