Like many three-year-olds, Siena has a plethora of favourite activities, along with the energy to complete them. She loves dancing, building sandcastles and playing in playgrounds, and is yet to find a craft activity she doesn’t love.
Siena wears hearing aids and attends Hear and Say’s Brisbane centre for regular listening and spoken language lessons, as well as the LEAP Group Social Skills program.
“For us, it is important that Siena can hear the full spectrum of sound, and that there are no frequencies that she is missing out on. We want her to be able to ‘hear’ all the colours in the rainbow clearly, and to not have a couple of colours ‘missing’ or ‘fuzzy’,” said Claire, Siena’s mum.
It is vital that children with hearing loss receive services during the early years of their life so that they have the opportunity to reach developmental milestones alongside their typically-hearing peers. These services remain vital – even amidst a global pandemic.
Fortunately, Hear and Say has been running a Telepractice program for many years, enabling families around Queensland and beyond impacted by hearing loss to access services, regardless of their location. Pivoting quickly to ensure the continuation of service delivery and the health and safety of Hear and Say families, it wasn’t long before almost all families, both urban and regional, were using Telepractice to receive their individual lessons and participate in group social skills programs.
“Being able to continue to access Hear and Say services during lockdown has been a lifesaver. Siena’s weekly routine was thrown out the window, and the ability to see our listening and spoken language Specialist, Katie, online for both LEAP and individual lessons meant that there was some normalcy for Siena,” said Claire.
Understandably some families were daunted by the idea of Telepractice but many, like Claire and Siena, found it to be unexpectedly straightforward.
“The transition to Telepractice for us has been fun and seamless. I personally have enjoyed collating all the supplies we will require for the lesson, and Siena has loved being able to enjoy the activities from the comfort of home. An added bonus has been meeting Miss Katie’s pet fish, Henry!”