Gold Coast toddler Kove is a bit of a groover, dancing and singing to music with his sister. He’s also a big fan of the outdoors from going down the slides at the park to going to the beach. Quiet time is also a fan favourite for Kove, who loves to sit in his parents Jarrad and Kirstie’s laps to read a book.
Kove’s hearing was screened at birth through the universal newborn hearing screening where he received a refer result. Through follow up testing at Gold Coast University Hospital he was diagnosed with a unilateral hearing loss at three months old.
“Kove has a moderate hearing loss in his right ear where he wears a hearing aid, and typical hearing in his left,” said Kove’s mum, Kirstie.
“I found that there was no drastic responses or feelings to this diagnosis as we were well informed by the teams every step of the way. We had an abundance of support from all of the services, so I can honestly say we were at ease with his diagnosis,” she said.
Kove experienced multiple hospitalisations due to illness which caused a mass of fluid to be present until he was almost 12 months old.
“He was then able to have grommet surgery which helped with being more receptive to sounds and also learning to make sounds,” said Kirstie.
“We as a family feel that Kove’s diagnosis is ‘normal’. We haven’t changed our feelings about it. He is still our baby and is still learning to communicate the same way, we just know how to help him understand better,” she said.
The family heard about Hear and Say through the hospital and Hearing Australia, who fitted Kove’s hearing aid.
“We go to Hear and Say’s Varsity Lakes centre on the Gold Coast once a month for speech pathology,” said Kirstie.
“It has been an amazing experience to have Fiona as Kove’s speech pathologist since the early days. It has made some transitions so much easier,” she said.
“It has allowed us to have a better understanding of the way we communicate with Kove as well as others around him. It has also helped support our families and friends in the best way to effectively communicate with Kove.
“Watching the relationship the team has built with Kove has been a heart-warming experience! We have nothing but appreciation for the care and support we have received from the team at the Gold Coast centre!”