This year we are participating in LOUD SHIRT DAY which is a National community fundraiser to support children living with hearing loss.
Our daughter Vallis was born with hearing and learnt to talk at an age-appropriate level. At 15 months of age, we noticed Valli had progressively stopped responding to our voices and loud sounds.
Having no family history of hearing loss and an uncomplicated pregnancy, birth and childhood, we had absolutely no reason to suspect hearing loss. She is a HUGE water baby, so we assumed she had fluid trapped in her ears which was blocking the quality of sound she was receiving.
During the course of investigating with specialists, Vallis lost all of her spoken words. Almost as if she had forgotten how to verbalise the words she could no longer hear.
2 months after Vallis' 2nd birthday, she was diagnosed with Bilateral Severe-Profound Sensorineural Hearing Loss.
I still remember the audiologist saying those words to us. As parents who went in thinking our daughter was going to have fluid drained, only to be told she had profound, permanent, hearing loss.. This news both shocked and broke our hearts.
There is no known cause for Vallis' hearing loss, sometimes these things 'just happen'. As we move forward, Chris and I will continue do everything we can to ensure our daughter has the best quality of life, with access to sound, speech and sign language to engage in the world around her.
Our family, friends and community surrounding us are learning Auslan to support language and communication with Vallis.
We are working closely with Telethon Speech & Hearing for Auditory Verbal Therapy. Being remote clients, we attend weekly Auslan and AVT sessions online via video calls.
Telethon Speech and Hearing have been great ongoing support, Justine is an amazing Auditory Verbal Therapist as well as a hugely appreciated support system to guide our family through this process.
Vallis' journey has opened our eyes to ALL kids with hearing loss and the importance of obtaining the support they need as early as possible, to give them the best chance of minimising long-term effects and to help them reach their full potential.
Chris & I have designed a range of LOUD shirts with Valli in mind.
She's LOUD, she's ECCENTRIC, she's COLOURFUL.
She loves the ocean, specifically whales, and we've all seen how much she enjoys a squid adventure! We had so much fun designing these shirts and reckon they represent our little girl so well.
ALL PROFITS FROM THE SALE OF LOUD SHIRTS WILL BE DONATED
directly back into our Loud Shirt Fundraiser
There are heaps of styles, colours & sizes online - there is something for everyone.
Your donation will help give kids living with hearing loss access to Telethon Speech & Hearing who support children living with hearing loss to hear, communicate, connect and learn.
You can grab your LOUD tees here
until Sunday 9th October
Donate directly to the cause here