May 2020 WLS-TV
Helping children live a limitless life is the mission of the Sound Start Babies Foundation, a New Jersey nonprofit, dedicated to helping babies with hearing loss during critical years of their brain development. The foundation, which raises money exclusively for the Sound Start Babies Program, provides infants with an early intervention program led by educators and paediatric hearing loss professionals.
Despite the impact of the global pandemic on their programs and fundraising events, that did not stop the Sound Start Babies team from continuing to provide their critical services virtually. "The staff has done a wonderful job of putting together teleprograms to reach the family and their babies with hearing loss and help them through this time," said Sound Start Babies President, Jessica Griffin. Through virtual classes and programs, the Sound Start Babies team is also giving these young children a sense of normalcy by allowing them to interact with their teachers and friends online. "We've been providing virtual therapy and group activities daily which can be a music class, storytime, a sign language class or yoga, it's so cute to see how excited they get when they see their friends and teachers," said Program Coordinator, Kayley Mayer.
For parents like Adam and Melissa Guderian, the program has been crucial in the development of their 20-month old daughter Abbie. "The program has been great in giving us ideas on what to do with her. She's learning sign language and she's learning speech and she knows over 100 words in sign now," said Melissa.