CHEEKY CHAP: James Wiskar.
CHEEKY CHAP: James Wiskar. Meghan Kidd

Blackwater toddler's Hear and Say

JAMES Wiskar's smile is infectious.

The four-year-old Blackwater local's cheeky grin lights up the room and his "charm" has everyone listening to what he has to say.

And without problem, because James is a boisterous, talkative little tot, thanks to his dedicated parents and the support from Hear and Say.

 

"We had James at the Sunshine Coast and he was referred to an audiologist and also a paediatrician... the paediatrician has two children of his own with hearing loss and his wife ran the playgroup for Hear and Say - he put us straight on to them," James' mum Rebecca said.

"With numerous trips to Brisbane, along with diagnostic hearing screens to gauge what loss he has, we started with Hear and Say when James was three months old."

 

Rebecca described James' bilateral mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss as "in the speech bubble".

With waterproof and dustproof hearing aids, James has learnt to listen to what he is hearing and say it.

"We've taught him not to look at the lips, to purely listen to what he's hearing," Rebecca said.

"We taught James to listen, to use the technology in his ears, and then to speak, no sign language, purely learning to listen and to speak, which allows them to mainstream through schooling," she said.

With visits back and forth to Brisbane, Rebecca said they became part of the outreach program, including face-to-face Skyping lessons every week.

Hear and Say was in the region recently and James' auditory-verbal therapist Nicole Davolio was excited to see his progress.

"We have a lot of children we visit and James is doing so well," she said.

"Each time we see him, he has come along so far."


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