Read Nesta's story
"Nesta is 4 years old and has a sloping moderate to profound hearing loss with ANSD (Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder). She is currently a hearing aid user, however her path to a better future may include the fitment of Cochlear Implants.
"Nesta was diagnosed early and we were assigned a wonderful Teacher of the Deaf whose character I enjoyed and whose opinion I respected. This meant I acted on the information she gave me; most importantly to meet Julie Hughes at The Elizabeth Foundation. First impressions of the Foundation couldn’t have been better. I felt at home and Julie was knowledgeable, reassuring and friendly. The Elizabeth Foundation has steered us gently from this point.
"Nesta started the baby sessions almost straight away, at 4 months old. The baby classes provided an opportunity to meet other mums and dads in the same position. We had time to share and compare whilst the babies did too! I wanted to know more about audiograms, hearing aids and cochlear implants and the classes offered opportunities to ask others about their experiences.
"The structured baby classes energised all of Nesta’s senses. Music was a key stimulus in developing her listening and communication skills and I would often hear myself speaking in the same sing-song tones I’d learnt during the sessions. You can’t help but smile when your baby sings it back.
"With the toddler group came more independence. The older children seemed so advanced but Nesta gradually started to find her own voice. The toddler sessions focused on different topics each term, offering new listening and language opportunities supported with take home sheets to keep practising. Nesta really benefited from the quiet, focused learning sessions, as well as the break-out free-play and music time that we all did together.
"As Nesta has moved up into the preschool class, the sessions have helped improve her listening, speaking, literacy and working memory skills. Her focus and attention for learning in a noisy environment have developed – a critical skill in a busy classroom next year! She also receives regular specialist speech and language therapy so that she can recognise and pronounce key speech sounds; even the ones she can’t hear so well. Most importantly of all, she is active and having fun while she learns.
"The Elizabeth Foundation offers the best opportunities in a specialist environment for children like Nesta. They celebrate birthdays with cake and enjoy the end of the school year with an entertainer. Father Christmas joins the annual Christmas party and every preschooler has a chance to be heard in the Christmas play. So many opportunities to allow Nesta to shine like any other happy child would.
"Now, at 4 years old, Nesta runs excitedly into her preschool sessions. She is happy, confident and funny with good vocabulary and speech that she is working hard to improve. She goes swimming, does ballet and loves to paint, colour, role-play and read. She has learned to listen well and to use her technology to best effect. She uses a radio aid and, as she moves on, we have secured an EHCP (Educational Health Care Plan) to support her through our local mainstream school with a HIU (Hearing Impaired Unit)."
"The Elizabeth Foundation offers the best opportunities in a specialist environment for children like Nesta ... So many opportunities to allow Nesta to shine like any other happy child would..."