The name of the young person has been changed to maintain confidentiality.

Agnieszka has a moderate-severe bilateral sensori-neural hearing loss and a mild language delay. She wears two ‘behind the ear’ hearing aids and uses a roger radio device to overcome the degrading effects of distance and background noise on the speech signal.

She was first referred to the Hearing Impaired (HI) Team (Oldham’s Sensory and Physical Support Service (SAPSS)) from paediatric audiology at six weeks old.

Action taken

Agnieszka’s parents, who speak Polish has a first language, have been supported by the team ever since, helping them with special equipment for their daughter and her move into preschool.

The family currently receives a fortnightly QTHI home visit to support and coach parents to further develop her listening and language skills.

  • Weekly access to the HI preschool group – coaching and sharing ideas with parents
  • Parents and nursery staff have been offered training run jointly by the HI team and the HI SALT
  • Agnieszka also attends trips arranged by the SAPSS.

Impact

Here are mum’s thoughts on the support package:

How do you feel about the support you receive from the HI team (SAPSS)?

When we first got the diagnosis it was horrible, we felt confused, I felt I’d failed as a mother, it was my fault, I was destroyed inside. I cried a lot and I felt, ‘why me, why us, why her’. Support from HI (SAPSS) has made such a difference, I felt calmer, supported. It is not too much, there is no pressure, I know it is there, I don’t need to keep going and phoning now I know the support is there when I need it. My teacher comes regularly, if I can’t be there it is fine, we rearrange, there is no pressure.

How do you think your daughter is doing with her listening and talking?

She has worn her hearing aids so well because we knew she had to. Now we have the radio and we use it all the time, it makes a big difference. We know she is a little bit behind but she’s doing brilliantly, she never stops talking. It’s great. We didn’t think she would speak. Since she started school she is talking more and more, she is confident.

Do you get enough support from the Hi team?

Yes, it is perfect. Agnieszka is learning to talk naturally, we know what we need and we do it. You remind us and you keep it going, you are glad when she uses new words, but you push us on to the next bit.

What do you think of the preschool group?

We love it, and the WhatsApp group. We love the support of other parents, we can talk about the hard times with hearing aids. We love the trips. We have good friends and Agnieszka has had friends like her who wear hearing aids since she was a baby. We go to all the birthday parties - she loves it.