Summer Appeal: Help Children Connect

Summer Appeal 2019

We hope you are able to assist us with the Summer Appeal to help us provide support when it’s most needed.

Five year old twins Colby and Sebastian

Five year olds Sebastian and Colby were born two months early and spent five days in Intensive Care in the Royal Women’s Hospital. No one knew at the time – or for the next few years – that they were both deaf.

“No one knew that our babies were deaf”

Now, their mum Bree and dad Jamie wonder if it was possible something was missed or simply not communicated to them as their tiny little boys were treated for other complications and transferred across three hospitals in their first month.

Their mum Bree shared their journey with us:

“After the initial anxious time in Intensive Care, Sebastian and Colby seemed to be doing well. No one told us about the high risk of hearing loss when babies are born prematurely. We still don’t know the exact cause of the hearing loss – whether it was because they were born so early or whether there may be a genetic link.

When they had their two year old check-up, I expressed concern that they were just babbling still. The maternal child health nurse suggested hearing tests.

After Sebastian was diagnosed as deaf, Colby and their younger sister Stevie were assessed. Again, Colby’s hearing test results were inconclusive and they told us to test again in another six months. This happened a few times so he unfortunately missed out on early intervention support.

Stevie was diagnosed at 18 months with a hearing loss caused by chronic middle ear infection and fluid in her ears. She had a bone-anchored hearing aid for a year and had grommets inserted six weeks ago.”

“We never imagined we would be where we are today”

Colby, Sebastian and Stevie with their dad Jamie at DCA’s Auslan for Families class

“We have been attending Auslan for Families classes over the past twelve months, and while it’s been challenging for us as adults to pick up another language, it’s been really fun. We have really appreciated DCA’s support, and we are looking forward to meeting more deaf and hard of hearing children and their families through their recreation events and the family camp next year. It will be great to get some guidance from the Family Support team on how to navigate our way through the National Disability Insurance Scheme as well.”

Read our Summer Appeal to find out more about Colby, Sebastian and Stevie’s journey.

Deaf Children Australia wants more children and young people to receive the assistance they need at different stages of their journey. Whether it’s after diagnosis when they are searching for information and support, or when they may want to strengthen their communication skills or connect up with other deaf or hard of hearing children or young people, we hope to be able to be there when most needed.


With your assistance, we can help more children connect

Can you enable us to reach out to other deaf and hard of hearing children and young people like Colby, Sebastian and Stevie 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.

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