Tax Appeal: The Gift of Empowerment

Winter Appeal: The Gift of Empowerment

We hope you are able to assist us with our winter appeal to enable deaf and hard of hearing babies like Jethro to receive the support they and their families need after diagnosis.

Picture of baby wearing hearing aids

Jethro as a baby, soon after being fitted with hearing aids

Thanks to the universal Infant Hearing Screening Program, which DCA successfully advocated for, most deaf and hard of hearing babies are diagnosed only a few days or weeks after birth. Ninety-five per cent of these babies are born to hearing parents who really need support in those early days following diagnosis. They may be overwhelmed with all the medical appointments and really need someone to talk to who has a deaf or hard of hearing child themselves – who has been down this road before.

Deaf Children Australia’s Parent to Parent Program provides that vital link. We aim to reduce isolation, increase knowledge and understanding, and provide encouragement to families. Deaf Children Australia’s Support Parents in Queensland play a vital role supporting families to improve communication and developmental outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing children from the time they are diagnosed. We are excited to be able to extend the program that has been running in Queensland and to establish the Parent to Parent Program in Victoria. We hope you will be able to help us build the level of support we can provide to newborns. Every deaf and hard of hearing baby across Australia deserves this support.

“I stopped feeling isolated and alone”

Catherine shared her story about how her family’s journey with their son Jethro changed after connecting up with the Parent to Parent Program:

“My son Jethro is four years old now. His hearing loss was identified when he was a newborn. At around eight weeks old, he was fitted with hearing aids. It felt like it was our baby and us against the world now. Whilst I didn’t believe it at the time, I was becoming slowly more isolated.

While other mums talked about cloth or disposable nappies, formula or breastfed babies, I wanted to know what Ear, Nose and Throat specialist other families were seeing – and talk about how crazy fast baby’s ear canals grew. But all I got were sympathetic looks and awkward comments about how tough it must be and, worse still, how grateful they were to have a healthy baby.

An audiologist organised for Isabel, a mother of children with moderate to severe hearing loss, to ring me. Finally, someone actually knew exactly what I had been through. Isabel talked about life from a holistic view and asked me about my future plans for my family.

“The parents and the Deaf mentors we talked to were just as important as the medical specialists in our lives.”

Importantly, speaking to another parent normalised the abnormal for me. I stopped feeling isolated and alone – I had a sense of belonging again. By talking to another parent, I got the gift of empowerment and strength – which every child needs from their parents.”

We hope our Parent to Parent Program can grow across different part of Australia so Support Parents can share their life experiences and help families learn about the different paths available to develop their baby’s communication skills, and nurture and encourage them to reach their true potential.

Read our Winter Appeal to learn more about Jethro’s journey and how Deaf Children Australia is expanding support networks for families so more deaf and hard of hearing babies can reach their language and other developmental goals.

With your assistance, we can help more babies reach their potential

Can you enable us to reach out to other deaf and hard of hearing babies like Jethro 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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