My son is severe-profoundly deaf and wears hearing aids in both ears. He attended The Elizabeth Foundation pre-school in Portsmouth once a week while he was a baby, toddler and pre-schooler. He is now in a mainstream school that has a Hearing Impaired Specialist Centre attached. He absolutely loves being at school with other deaf children, but equally immersed in a class with all of his hearing friends too.
I have been on the committee since April 2012 and love working with the younger children and babies, especially arranging soft play events and events where the children can play while the adults chat! Seeing all ages together at our larger events is one of my favourite things about SDCS.
As a family (both my husband and I are hearing) we always felt the kids should if possible, have both deaf and hearing friends and also wanted them to have deaf role models to look up to, so from pretty early on we joined ‘SDCS’. From that first family signing course we basically haven’t looked back!
We’ve all met life-long friends along the way and have stacks of happy memories from different events over the years. Having the support of friends with deaf children has been invaluable – for advice and support from friends who know exactly what you’re going through, without having to explain yourself is so refreshing (during tough times It’s been a life-line!)
Surrey Deaf has had such a positive effect on our family, I’m passionate about helping other families along the way like we were – I’m very proud to say I’m part of the SDCS committee – we’re a lovely bunch of mums dedicated to keeping children at the centre of everything we do.
Despite being under Audiology we battled for two and half years and eventually got referred to St Georges’ Audiology where our son was finally diagnosed with a profound hearing loss in both ears with ANSD (Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder). The ANSD was a significant factor in making his diagnosis difficult. He went straight into the cochlear implant assessment programme at St George’s hospital and a year later was successfully bi-laterally cochlear implanted.
As a result of this significant delay, we chose to follow an auditory aural approach, which would focus him on speaking and listening to the very best of his capabilities, bearing in mind such a significant delay. Auditory Verbal UK, gave us the education, support, opportunity and above all encouragement to begin our journey.
Today our son is doing well and has made huge progress helped along by his twin brother who has been a significant influence and occasionally allows him to get a word in edge ways. On reflection we have had many challenges and positive opportunities. I am privileged to be an SDCS committee member and feel fortunate as a fellow parent to have met so many families, who I have learnt from and been inspired by to get involved.
We have found the SDCS a wonderful group of caring families who have been very supportive over the years. The opportunities we have been given to learn more about deafness and seek advice from families who have been thorough similar has also been invaluable. As a result we have made some very good friends through the SDCS and we all have a great time at events.