My child has a hearing loss

The Cora Barclay Centre team understands the impact of a diagnosis for your child of hearing loss or deafness. The team at the Centre is made up of highly qualified professionals, some of whom are parents of children who are deaf that have been in a similar position as you. The Cora Barclay Centre encourages you to research and assess which provider is going to be right for you and your family, however, with family- centred guidance and support, the majority of children who are deaf or hearing impaired can learn to listen and speak, attend mainstream school, have friends, be happy and reach their full potential in life.Most parents want this for their child.

Is being hearing impaired the same as being deaf?

Very few children are born totally deaf, without the ability to hear any sound at all. Most will have some existing hearing so the hearing loss is categorised according to the severity of the loss – mild, moderate, severe and profound or combinations of these degrees. All levels of hearing loss  require intervention to guide an coach parents with strategies to help their child learn to manage their hearing loss and overcome any obstacles that they may face. The Cora Barclay Centre helps children with all degrees  of hearing loss.

What options are available?

It is very important that you research the available options and make a choice suitable for your family. After diagnosis of your child's hearing loss you should receive a booklet titled "Choices" by Australian Hearing. This booklet has been designed to support you with information immediately after diagnosis. Choices outlines the communication options available, they include: 

1. Spoken language using the Auditory-Verbal Therapy approach

2. Spoken language using the Auditory-Oral approach

3. Total communicaion which uses a wide range of methods of communication including signing, fingerspelling, speech and lip-reading

4. Bilingual/Bicultural; education through AUSLAN the sign language of the Deaf community and English often taught through reading or writing or through a sign system representing English.

The Cora Barclay Centre follows the Auditory-Verbal Therapy approach as research demonstrates that it achieves the best outcomes for children who are deaf and hearing impaired. Speech and language development results are comparable to children without hearing loss, mainstream schooling is likely and the opportunities for tertiary education are high.

What questions should I ask a provider?

When researching appropriate providers for your child you would be well placed to investigate the following questions:

1. What methodology do you use and why?

2. How often will I receive support in the first 12 months, after 3 years, after 10 years?

3. What results have other children achieved?

4. What other disciplines go into providing support for my family and my child other than their key therapist?

5. What services are provided beyond 1:1 therapy?

6. What are the qualifications of the team that will be working with my child?

7. What experience does the team have in helping children who are deaf?

8. What will be expected of me?

9. How involved will I be in determining what happens in therapy?

10. What other services are available that might help me in caring for my child?

How much will it cost me?

All service providers differ in their fee structure and it is important to understand any financial obligations carefully. The Cora Barclay Centre is a registered provider of the National Disability Insurance System (NDIS) and as such, receives support from the NDIS in servicing children. Beyond registering with the NDIS and preparing an annual plan which the team at the Centre will help you with, there are no fees levied and no out of pocket expenses for attending the Cora Barclay Centre for you and your child with hearing loss. We do however rely on community support to assist with the funding gap.

What outcomes can I expect for my child?

Results from formal, standardised speech and language assessments at the Cora Barclay Centre show that children who are deaf or hearing impaired receiving Auditory-Verbal Therapy receive near equivalent scores to that of the general population in term of speech articulation and expression of spoken language. Without additional disabilities or other complicating factors, you can expect your child to attend mainstream school, make friends, socialise, be independent, obtain full and meaningful employment, get married and reach their full potential in life. Please click here to see our outcomes.

How quickly do I need to make a decision?

There is a significant body of evidence documenting the imperative of commencing early intervention habilitation of hearing loss as close to birth as possible. There is a direct correlation between the early commencement of intervention and successful speech, language, literacy, social-emotional and academic outcomes. As such, the Cora Barclay Centre recommends the timely selection of provider so that service can commence. However, the Centre also recognises that the period immediately after diagnosis is stressful and confusing and that time must be given to feel comfortable with your decision. Families should feel comfortable contacting the Cora Barclay Centre for information as many times as they wish.

How do I make a decision?

It is very important for you to find out all the information about the different choices so you can make the right decision for you and your family. Families often report that their initial introduction to deafness was overwhelming. They also report that even after seeing the different services and researching more they found it difficult to differentiate between one provider and another. The Cora Barclay Centre offers four trial sessions for families deciding upon an early intervention service which aims to give families a first-hand experience of the services that the Centre offers. Families are under no obligation to come onto service at the end of the trial period however if they do, will typically continue to have therapy with the therapist who ran their trial sessions to ensure continuity.

What do I do next?

It is recommended that you visit the Cora Barclay Centre to get a better understanding of the services provided and the methodology used. It will also give you an opportunity to meet the team and appreciate the family-centred feel of the Centre.

If you have any other questions please email the team at the Cora Barclay Centre or call 08 8267 9200.

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