Spring Appeal: Vital Support along the Journey

We hope you are able to assist us with our Spring Appeal to help us provide intensive support to families. Sometimes this support is needed because of the complexity of the children’s needs or at times, there are multiple children in the family who are deaf or hard of hearing and the family may face significant challenges.

Photo of Ziggy and Hussein

Ziggy and Hussein are two of three deaf children in their family

Ten year old Ziggy and five year old Hussein are both profoundly deaf. Their nineteen year old brother is hard of hearing. Their family is very supportive and loving but they experienced significant communication barriers. Thankfully, the situation started to improve after Ziggy and Hussein connected up with Deaf Children Australia’s (DCA’s) youth support worker Matthew, and they received assistance from family support worker Janaki. The family also attended DCA’s Family Camp.

“Three of the eight children are deaf or hard of hearing”

The boys’ mum Mona and older sister Nahida explained:

“In our family, three of the eight children are deaf or hard of hearing. The oldest son has had difficulty with low frequency sounds since he was little. And then Ziggy passed the newborn hearing screening test but when he was three years old, he was diagnosed as profoundly deaf. He missed out on government funded Early Intervention Support and needed to repeat kinder to help him develop his language skills and prepare for school.

When Hussein was born, he also passed the newborn hearing screening test but was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at one year and nine months. Hussein’s hearing loss is more severe than Ziggy’s so we decided to give him bilateral cochlear implants (on both sides). Even though he was diagnosed much younger, Hussein’s hearing loss has impacted him more than Ziggy’s. Hussein received Early Intervention Support but he has always struggled with developing any form of language – spoken or sign.”

“After camp, we felt more confident about what they’re capable of achieving”

Photo of Ziggy

Ziggy is feeling so much more independent now

“Our family was referred to Deaf Children Australia last year and their support has been beautiful. Both boys connect with Matthew really strongly but the bond between Ziggy and Matthew is particularly special.

We had big challenges with the boys before but after but after camp, we have felt more confident about what they’re capable of achieving. Seeing how happy they were signing with other children and adults on camp, we realised how important it was for us to learn more Auslan (Australian Sign Language). Janaki has been providing so much advice and helping us learn Auslan through DCA’s CommuniCate kit and other resources.”

“Hussein would rely on big brother Ziggy to interpret for him”

“Before, Hussein would hold our hands and lead us to what he wanted. Or he would try using gestures and mime – or rely on his big brother Ziggy to interpret for him. Hussein didn’t have a lot of words or Auslan. Now as his communication is improving, he is getting less frustrated, and we understand each other better.”

Read our Spring Appeal to learn more about Ziggy and Hussein’s journey and how Deaf Children Australia is helping families receive the assistance they need at different stages of their journey. Whether it’s after diagnosis or years later when they may need support with communication skills or Deaf Awareness Training at their school or kinder like Ziggy and Hussein, we hope to be able to be there when most needed. We want to be able to provide Deaf mentors to encourage a positive sense of identity and help children and young people feel comfortable with who they are. We want to encourage them to feel they have the same possibilities as any other children.

With your assistance, we can help more children reach their goals

Can you enable us to reach out to other deaf and hard of hearing children and young people like Hussein and Ziggy and their families who urgently need assistance? Please take a moment to make your tax deductible donation online or call us on (03) 9539 5356.

Become a Barrier Breaker, a group of dedicated, active monthly givers who are ongoing advocates for our cause.

Never underestimate the difference that your support will make.

Photo of Matthew and Ziggy together
"Matthew helps me to do lots of things. We talk to the teachers at my school and he helps them understand what I need. I felt so excited at camp with Matthew there too. I made the best friends I have ever had in my life - Luke and Ben." - Ziggy
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