Feb 2021 The Canberra Times
Diagnosed with bilateral profound hearing loss at birth, one-year-old Milo started at The Shepherd Centre as a newborn in their world-leading early intervention system. With no personal experience with hearing loss, Milo's parents were completely shocked at the time of diagnosis but knew that support was needed. "In the beginning, we were very overwhelmed with the available options for Milo's care,' said his mother, Lou. "We weren't sure what would work best for Milo and our family, so it took us a while to consider all the options.
Now one year old, little Milo was diagnosed with bilateral profound hearing loss at birth. Milo started at The Shepherd Centre as a newborn in their world-leading Early Intervention System. In addition to Milo having bilateral cochlear implants, his mother Lou said "Having the opportunity to connect with other families made us feel less alone and has given us a community to connect with"
"Right from the beginning, we felt at home at The Shepherd Centre. Our earliest interactions focused on our wellbeing as a family. "Milo's speech and audiology team are warm, extremely knowledgeable and make Milo and our family feel supported and like we belong."
At 10 months of age, he received bilateral cochlear implants and whilst The Shepherd Centre focuses on spoken language, Lou's family are also learning Auslan with Milo, stating that The Shepherd Centre fully supported their decision.
Through the centre's educational group-programs and play sessions, Lou was able to meet other families in a similar situation to them. This became a crucial part of the family's journey according to Lou. "This was essential in helping us to process our feelings and understand what was in store for us and Milo. "Having the opportunity to connect with other families made us feel less alone and has given us a community to connect with," Lou said. "Milo has found friends and we have met families who understand what it's been like for us”. It's this level of community support as well as the full trust in The Shepherd Centre team that means Lou knows that things are on track for Milo and that his future looks very positive.
"I feel like it takes a lot of trust when you work with a service to care for your child. You place a lot of trust in them to know what they are doing, and that they have the right expertise and experience. You also have to trust that they care about your child as much as you do. I have confidence in all of these things when it comes to The Shepherd Centre. "Milo is such a remarkable little boy with the brightest future," Lou added proudly. "For a little boy who was completely without sound for the first 10 months of his life, his favourite things are singing songs and reading stories.”