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The race against time for children with hearing loss

For nearly half a million Australians, the debilitating pain and swollen joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis makes basic tasks like holding a coffee cup or turning on a tap almost impossible.

For new parents Ashleigh and Dave, the joy felt after the birth of their son, Charlie, was quickly followed by anxiety when they were given the heartbreaking news that Charlie was partially deaf.

‘When we found out Charlie couldn’t hear us call his name we were devastated,’ said Ashleigh.

‘We knew it was a race against time. He needed hearing aids as early as possible to make sure he wasn’t left behind at school.’

Charlie was fitted with hearing aids and is now a happy and healthy baby. But his life could have been very different.

Hearing a parent’s voice in the first few months of life is crucial for children to develop language.

If children with hearing impairment miss out on those early sounds their speech development can be delayed, sometimes permanently.

We will do everything we can to support research that gives deaf children like Charlie the chance to learn to speak and live life to the fullest. Ashleigh and Dave

Researchers at the Bionics Institute are developing a groundbreaking new test called EarGenie™ that indicates if children with hearing issues need a cochlear implant or a hearing aid.

Without the early intervention made possible by EarGenie, many children miss out on the treatment they need to hear and learn to speak.

Ashleigh and Dave are passionate advocates for the new technology. ‘We will do everything we can to support research that gives deaf children like Charlie the chance to learn to speak and live life to the fullest.’

Learn more about our EarGenie research here

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