For Grafton mother of seven, Tanya Cone, watching her eight year old son Logan prepare for another school year is so rewarding as she knows the challenges he has overcome.
After being diagnosed with a hearing loss a couple of years ago, Logan and his family were referred to paediatric hearing specialists Australian Hearing and following a full assessment, he was fitted with his first hearing aid at six years of age.
Tanya recalls the early signs that Logan was struggling when he started Kindy at Westlawn Public School.
“I knew something was wrong with Logan’s school work and how frustrated he was at home,” said Tanya. “I didn’t push it until I realised Logan wasn’t able to learn to read like other children.”
“The main thing was he just couldn’t concentrate and in the classroom he would zone out… In reading groups Logan wasn’t hearing what was being said so he wasn’t piecing the written and spoken words together.”
Audiologist Megan Hardie-Porter and the team at Australian Hearing have supported Logan’s family with specialist hearing services and technology. Megan said her role is to help optimise a child’s hearing to make sure they are given the best opportunity to develop speech, communicate well and reach their full potential.
“After Logan was fitted with his hearing aid he was very excited, often commenting ‘I can hear it!’” explains Megan. “Previously Logan was being disruptive and not concentrating well in class, so he also received a Roger wireless communication device to help hear more clearly from a distance or in noisy situations.”
Tanya describes the transformation Logan has undergone with this specialised support.
“As soon as Logan had his hearing aids on it was like it switched his brain on. He was much happier that day,” said Tanya. “The first time Logan heard rain he had to ask, ‘What’s that noise?’ He often says excitedly how he remembers that first time he heard rain.”
This year Logan will be progressing to Year 3 at Westlawn Public School and his mum Tanya credits Logan’s teachers for embracing the new technology including a hearing loop at assembly.
“Obviously all the hearing support has worked. Logan has come a long way. He is not as disruptive and has really picked up on his reading, being able to listen and focus. In the past Logan was quite shy and much less social… Now Logan can understand what’s going on, so is much more confident and will jump right in.”
Tanya encourages other parents who may be concerned about their child’s hearing to seek help.
“The earlier parents get the ball rolling with a hearing check the better. Kids cope with change and Logan coped well because we started early.”
Parents concerned about their child’s hearing, should firstly contact their family doctor or local community health service (in Grafton call 6641 8702). If a hearing loss is detected, the child will then be referred to Australian Hearing for a full hearing assessment.
With funding from the Commonwealth Government’s Hearing Services Program, Australian Hearing provides hearing services for children and young Australians with a permanent hearing loss up to the age of 26.
For more information call 6641 0000 or visit www.hearing.com.au/milestone