Families enjoy rewarding weekend.
Our information weekends for families with children who are newly diagnosed with hearing loss is an important opportunity for parents to get in depth information on hearing loss, share their experiences with other families, and to get reassurance on their child’s future. The most recent weekend held in the Midlands Park Hotel on March 1st-3rd was no different.
A total of fifteen families attended, and the oldest child recently diagnosed was aged 6 years, while the youngest was just 8 weeks old.
“The audiologist was very helpful and easy to talk to”
One of the first activities on the programme is a session with an audiologist to help parents to get a better understanding of their child’s audiogram and hearing loss. Bronagh O’Donnell, the HSE Assistant National Clinical Lead facilitated this session. The feedback was, as usual, really positive as parents really appreciated the opportunity to have their child’s audiogram explained in a relaxed atmosphere.
Saturday’s programme included a session on Chime’s supports and services, and a workshop on supporting language development facilitated by Jennifer Robertson, Speech and Language Therapist, from the National Cochlear Implant Team. There was a session on parents experiences around their child’s diagnosis, which many parents find helpful and reassuring, in that they are not alone if they have some initial emotional upset and fears about their child’s future. The busy programme for the day also sessions on hearing aid management and cochlear implants.
“I found this very helpful. It was good to hear other parents’ stories and relate to how they felt.”
Sunday commenced with information on ‘Edutech- Assistive technology for Pre-School/School’. This was followed by an interactive session on ‘Deaf & Hearing Awareness Information and Lifetech demonstrations’ which helped parents gain an understanding of what it is like to have a hearing loss.
“Reassuring and great to see and hear from people that have overcome obstacles and succeeded.”
The final session on the programme was the Family Panel session. The panel comprises of families with Deaf children right through to adulthood who spoke about their experiences as a parent, a sibling, and being a child with a hearing loss. A representative from Our New Ears was also present to speak with our families.
“Altogether amazing. Wow, wow,wow. Thank you so much”
“Before I came to this weekend I had so many questions… Now I realise she can have a normal life. She can do whatever she wants.”
The comments bear out the importance of this programme for families. A big thank you to all who made the weekend possible: Bronagh O Donnell, Jennifer Robertson, our family panel and the Chime team of Siobhan Egan, Teresa O'Rourke, Angela Mitchell, Dave Browne, Rion Bunyan, Damien Owens and Eoin Roche.
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