Telethon Speech and Hearing school remembered after 50 years

Telethon Speech and Hearing school remembered after 50 years
Telethon Speech and Hearing school remembered after 50 years

JENNY Crommelin did not need to walk far to attend the first Telethon Speech and Hearing (TSH) school 50 years ago.

That’s because the school was in her family’s Dalkeith lounge room.

Jenny’s parents Terry and Audrey were one of the founding families of the first school that became what is now known as Telethon Speech and Hearing based in Wembley.

The now 54 year old, who lives at Rocky Bay in Mosman Park, remembers her first teachers Vince and Marie McCudden.

At a breakfast celebrating TSH’s 50 years earlier this year, Terry shared the moment when he and is wife realised their toddler was deaf.

He said he had just returned home from a business trip interstate and Jenny was sitting in the kitchen near the fridge.

“I said ‘hi’ to Jenny and she didn’t respond,” Terry said.

The father of three proceeded to bang pot and pans together before turning to his wife and saying “Jenny is deaf”.

“When we did find out she was deaf it had an enormous impact back in those days.”

The couple united with other families and started the first school with five deaf children, who learnt how to lip read.

Jenny, who is also disabled and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a young age, said she learnt cued speech (lip reading), relying on it to communicate with family and friends.

“I have a cochlear in my left ear, which was put in about 11 years ago, which helps me a lot,” she said.

Despite the obstacles Jenny faces, she is an inspiration to those around her and has a “wicked” sense of humour, according to her dad.

“I believe that every family needs a Jenny,” Terry said.

“It brings you back to the family bond between our two other children Vicki and Richard.”

Jenny said she loved to joke and have fun with people.

“I love my family; my family help me all the time and I think it is lovely to help people,” she said.

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