Young James Wiskar has a chance to communicate like other kids through the Hear and Say centre.
Young James Wiskar has a chance to communicate like other kids through the Hear and Say centre.

Add voice to butterfly appeal

A FACT not well known is that a butterfly is deaf, which is where the Hear and Say Centre got the name for its annual Butterfly Appeal.

Hear and Say is a world-leading program which supports young children with hearing loss and their families and from now until April 28, the Butterfly Appeal is raising money to help deaf babies and their families.

Blackwater baby James Wiskar has benefited from the work of the Hear and Say Centre after he was diagnosed at birth with hearing loss but now has the best opportunity to listen and speak the same as his older sister Madi.

At three months old, James was fitted with hearing aids and commenced the Hear and Say Outreach Program, consisting of therapy sessions by webcam and video conferencing, term visits by the Outreach co-ordinator to the child’s home and occasional visits to the centre in Brisbane, which taught him to turn the sounds he now hears into speech and language.

Now 11months old, James will have the same hearing, listening and speaking skills as his hearing peers by the time he starts Prep in a mainstream school.

James is not alone as about one in 500 children in Queensland every year is diagnosed with hearing loss and more acquire it after birth, Hear and Say managing director, founder and 2010 Suncorp Queenslander of the Year Dimity Dornan said.

Butterfly brooches and pens are $3 and butterfly charm bracelets and key/bag tags are $5 from selected locations including Suncorp branches and KFC outlets.

You can donate directly by phoning 3870 2221, or online at www.butterflyappeal.com.


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