Centre speaks deaf kids to be heard

September is Deaf Awareness Month, and to celebrate, the Carel du Toit Centre hosted a deaf awareness campaign last Friday and Saturday at Hemingways Mall.

Centre administrator, Lara Roux said the main purpose was to create public awareness for the centre and the work it did in helping deaf children to speak.

Attention was drawn to the importance of good hearing, which will enables a child to acquire language. Staff from the speech therapy and audiology department at the Frere Hospital and from the Carel du Toit Centre also answered questions from the public.

Pamphlets were handed out with guidelines on what parents should look out for if the child’s language was delayed or non-existent.

The Daily Dispatch reported earlier this month (“Blessed with gift of hearing”, September 8) that Dineo Skenjana, 11, who has Treacher Collins syndrome, was able to hear for the first time in her life.

Roux said Dineo attended the Carel du Toit Centre from a very young age and this was where she completed her pre-school education.

“Dineo initially had her hearing tested at the Frere Hospital when she was only three months old by means of an auditory brain system response test. She has been a user of an Alice band from a very young age.

“However, the technology available was limited and did not provide her with sufficient speech access. Through a partnership with Frere Hospital, Audiology and Medtronic, a bone-anchored hearing aid was graciously donated. This hearing aid is a discrete, surgically implanted device which offers digital processing of sound,” she said.

The bone-anchored hearing aid bypasses the faulty outer and middle ear and stimulates the hearing nerve directly.

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