Oct 2017 Stirling Times

North Beach mother Natalie Ellis treats Telethon Speech and Hearing (TSH) like her family.
Especially since the staff of TSH gifted her deaf two-year-old son Leo with the ability to hear through a cochlear implant. Ms Ellis said she found out Leo was deaf when he was a year old but she and her husband took 10 months before making a decision. “My husband was very cautious as well, because it is such a big operation and a huge decision,” Ms Ellis said. “We just kind of needed the professionals to really walk us through the whole thing and tell us 20 times why and what was wrong with his hearing because we do not know anyone who is deaf. Someone telling us that we have got to put a thing in his ear… it is really confronting. The people at Telethon basically walked me through it all and for a long time, they were so helpful and got everyone involved, and we finally felt like they were right and we were comfortable that it would go ahead.”
Ms Ellis said it had been a confusing and emotional journey for her family. “In hindsight, we wish we had done it earlier. Ever since he got his cochlear implant, he has just come along in leaps and bounds. He can’t say things properly because he is still learning but he is hearing everything.
Because he has lost his profound hearing, his hearing aids were not really doing anything for him and he was struggling with his right ear; he would just kind of ignore us all the time.” Ms Ellis said she was confident Leo could catch up with his speech development in time for kindergarten. She said Telethon had been instrumental in getting Leo to hear properly and her family was in a fortunate position.