Ariella was born deaf and at eight-weeks old was fitted with hearing aids but as she grew and showed no sign of baby babble or speaking her mum Sabrina’s concerns increased
But after just one session with UK Charity Auditory Verbal UK Ariella’s Mum Sabrina said: “It was like the light went on. By the end of our first session at Auditory Verbal UK, Ariella had said her first word “up” and the next day she imitated making an animal sound. This was the magical moment I had been waiting for”
Now Ariella has just turned four, and described as a “chatterbox” by her Mum. She attends mainstream nursery, wants to be a teacher, makes hearing aids for her dolls so they look like her and loves playing with her two elder sisters. Sabrina added: “Without AVUK I am not sure how Ariella’s development would have been. She loves nursery and chatters away all the time at home. It’s wonderful to hear and we continue to use the skills we’ve learnt in our sessions.”
On World Hearing Day as a YouGov survey reveals only 37% of adults believe a child born profoundly deaf can learn to speak as well as a hearing child* AVUK is calling for more deaf babies and children to be given the same chance to learn to listen and speak as Ariella.
AVUK Chief Executive Anita Grover said: “Four out of five children who spend two or more years on our programme achieve the same spoken language outcomes as typically hearing children. Most achieve this by the time they start school. But far too many families are unable to access such support and our ambition is for all families of deaf children who want their child to learn to listen and talk to be able to access an auditory verbal programme close to where they live. With 7,200 deaf children under the age of five, we are calling on the Government to make the necessary investment in the training of 300 specialist therapists across the UK, giving many more children an equal start at school.”
AVUK is the only UK charity offering a specialist parent-centred, Auditory Verbal programme aimed at helping pre-school aged deaf children to learn to listen and speak