Julien tops class despite adversity

Julien Ladeira (centre) holding two of his trophies, with brothers Christoper and George.
Julien Ladeira (centre) holding two of his trophies, with brothers Christoper and George.

The Year 4 student at St Patrick’s Primary School goes through his usual school day like every other boy his age, but puts in the extra effort on the weekends by attending North Shore College.

He does all of this in an attempt to overcome the disadvantages that come with high frequency bilateral hearing loss.

His mother Ms Ladeira said when he was diagnosed in kindergarten, she was shocked, but became determined not to let it impact his education.

‘I started Julien on Dr Julia Solomon’s Reading for Sure program. And there he learnt to read beautifully despite the difficulty with his hearing loss,’ she said. ‘With his current hearing aids he is lucky to be hearing 58 per cent of what the teacher is saying in class, and the more background noise the harder it gets to hear.

‘His teacher wears an FM receiver, which is designed to slightly amplify her voice and he has taught himself to lip read.’

Proving his hearing difficulties do not get in the way of his determination to learn, Julien has won 14 trophies in his time at North Shore College for topping his class in examinations.

After being told there was no operation available to fix Julien’s condition, Ms Ladeira said the family were hopeful a new type of cochlear implant, called a Hybrid Cochlear Implant would be able to give Julien the hearing none of his other implants had been able to achieve when it is fitted in January.

Julien said his dream was to attend Murdoch College, just like his two older brothers, and become an audiologist when he grew up so he could help others in his situation.

‘I feel sad about my hearing problems because I can’t hear all the great sounds and I would like to be able to hear the birds, whistles and whispers,’ he said.

‘I am so excited about getting the implant because I will be able to hear better and this will make learning easier for me and I will be able to hear all the sounds of nature. I want to be an audiologist when I grow up because I want to be able to help other kids like me.’