Last Tuesday evening we made our way up to London’s South Bank, right by the London Eye to be exact, to witness the launch of the National Deaf Children Society’s (NDCS) “Right Start” Campaign.
We were lucky enough to have Leo included in this, hence our trip to London to view the video that the NDCS showed that evening. After a slightly delayed start due to the fact that the sun wasn’t wanting to go down that evening we finally got to see the video and to see our little baby boy helping to raise awareness and celebrate deaf people and the Newborn Heaing Screening program that runs in hospitals across England.
The video ran for just over 7 minutes and featured 100 babies and toddlers whose hearing loss had been picked up because of the program. Below is the segment of the video that Leo featured in, the whole video can be found at the bottom of this post.
The aim of the campaign is firstly to celebrate the fact that Newborn Hearing Screening Tests have been taking place for 10 years in England, which is fantastic as most babies born with a hearing loss are having this picked up within the first few weeks of their lives and as a result can get help as early as possible. The second part of the campaign however is where the hard work begins.
The early help that babies with hearing loss get is fantastic, this however is
‘being squandered as many are being let down because they’re not receiving the level of support needed at this critical development stage.’
So far we have been extremely lucky in the help that we have received in the fact we have got two fantastic audiologists at Southend Hospital, we also have a Teacher of the Deaf who comes to our house and works with both us as parents and Leo. We also have a Play Therapist who again comes to our house and works with Leo to develop his skills and speaking skills. At the hospital he has a Paediatrician and also a Speech and Language Therapist both of whom monitor Leo via the other specialists he has and work with them to help him. As I said we’ve been lucky, not everyone however is as lucky as us. We are also aware that as he gets older some of this help will drop away and this is where a lot of deaf children start to struggle and eventually get left behind.
A study released last year by the NDCS revealed that only 36.3% of Deaf Children passed their GCSEs to the national benchmarks, compared to 65.3% of their hearing counterparts.
This is why the NDCS have launched this campaign. They are calling on the Government, Local Authorities and Health Bodies to work together and make a commitment to make sure there is
‘High quality support in place as soon as the child is diagnosed deaf’.
For more information on the NDCS click here
Why not read my Wife Keighleys account of discovering Leo had a hearing loss here
Sources Quoted in this article are taken from the following sources:
NDCS Right from the Start Campaign
NDCS GCSE Pass Rates of Deaf Children