Shepherd Centre helps turn up the sound for Ted

7 July 2020|Community News| Off Comments off on Shepherd Centre helps turn up the sound for Ted|

MOONAH locals Caroline Verth and Stu Warren have seen the benefits of early intervention support for their son, Ted Warren, who has severe hearing loss, after using the Shepherd Centre’s online telehealth system.

Ms Verth and Mr Warren first discovered Ted might have hearing loss when he did not pass his newborn screening two days after he was born.

Six weeks later, Ted was diagnosed with severe bilateral hearing loss.

With no history of hearing loss in their family, the news came as a shock to the first-time parents.

“There were a lot of unknowns and it was quite shocking, quite upsetting and we didn’t know what to expect,” Ms Verth said.

“We had an awful lot of appointments to go to and it was hard not to think of them as the focus rather than just delighting in having a newborn baby and everything being perfect and normal.”

Ms Verth and Mr Warren began weekly telehealth intervention services with the Shepherd Centre after Ted had cochlear implanted.

“It was so fortunate for us that The Shepherd Centre had an established online telehealth system available, as our options in Hobart were limited,” Ms Verth said.

“The sessions have been truly invaluable to us, as they have given us the skills to help Ted as he progresses his listening and speaking journey.”

The sessions via the online telehealth system involved singing, reading and working on assessing Ted’s access to spoken language and specific sounds.

They also provided a chance to discuss any difficulties the family were experiencing and also offered support to Ms Verth and Mr Warren, which was important for the family.

Ted, now almost three-years-old, has been excelling in his speech and language skills.

“He’s responded so well to therapy, and his language, content and sentence structure is quite remarkable,” Ms Verth said.

“People have commented on how well he articulates and his level of speech.

“You can understand and he’s getting really good access to sound – we’ve been able to help him do that with incredible assistance from the Shepherd Centre.”

The Shepherd Centre was established by Bruce Shepherd 50-years-ago and is a not-for-profit organisation that works with children who have been diagnosed with hearing loss.

“We teach them to develop their listening so they can speak and hear and be involved in their everyday community and society,” Shepherd Centre general manager of clinical programs Aleisha Davis said.

“Our services are really important, as we have seen children who don’t have access to these services really struggle because they struggle at school and that has knock on effects for both their social inclusion with friends and communities, and not being able to reach their potential and do what they want.

“We teach them how to use technology so they can hear, so they can listen, and so they can learn language skills.”

For more information, visit shepherdcentre.org.au.

Caption: From left, Caroline Verth, Ted Warren and Stu Warren.

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