School raising hearing loss awareness in support of Wembley Downs boy (3)

Lisa Webb (Wembley Downs) with son Ollie (3), Milla Connell (18 months) and George (2) and Charlie (3) Pugh. Photo: Martin Kennealey
Lisa Webb (Wembley Downs) with son Ollie (3), Milla Connell (18 months) and George (2) and Charlie (3) Pugh. Photo: Martin Kennealey

WEMBLEY Downs parents Lisa and Marc Webb discovered their son Ollie had significant hearing loss when he was three days old.

Ollie was diagnosed with Pendred syndrome and received hearing aids at six weeks.

Now aged three and having recently received bilateral cochlear implants, Ollie is thriving and Mrs Webb said it was testament to the support of Telethon Speech and Hearing.

“We’re really lucky we’re having that access and support. We’ve learnt how important it is for early intervention,” she said.

Her advice to other parents is to trust and surround themselves with experienced professionals.

Ollie started pre-kindergarten at Newman College this year and will be supported throughout his education through the Telethon Speech and Hearing School Support program, which has been running for more than 35 years.

Teacher of the deaf Zita Ferreira said a team of staff would work with Ollie and his teachers.

“As Ollie is new to listening with the use of his hearing technology, Ollie will be supported in kindy through the program in order to develop his listening, language and social development,” she said.

“Support at the school includes working closely with the family through individual therapy sessions with a teacher of the deaf, developing individual education plans for the student, supporting and educating the staff at Newman College understand the implications of hearing loss on a child/student’s learning.”

Mrs Webb, who is a physical education teacher at the school, wanted to give back. With the school’s support, they raised $1000 last year and will raise awareness at crazy sock days on November 2 and 30.

Mrs Webb said it was incredible to see Ollie hear sounds for the first time.

“He could hear crickets outside and dripping taps,” she said.