Aria has a better chance at learning, thanks to the Hear to Learn, a regional screening program supported by Thiess.
Aria, is a six-year-old student at Moranbah East State School. She was found to have significant hearing loss when her hearing was checked by Hear and Say through its Hear to Learn – School Hearing Screening program late last year.
Neither Aria’s parents nor her teachers were aware of her difficulty hearing because of her strong performance at school.
“Aria has always been well spoken and articulated all her sounds and words correctly. This discovery was a surprise to us, her teacher and our friends,” said Aria’s mother Prue.
All babies born in Queensland receive free hearing tests at birth, however the incidence of hearing loss doubles by the time children reach school age.
“I think as parents we expect and hope that when a hearing test is passed that our child has good hearing,” Prue said.
“It would never cross our minds that a medical hearing loss could develop or, in Aria's case, have already been present at birth, but not been detected due to the type of frequency the loss is at.”
After her diagnosis, Aria was referred on to an audiologist in Moranbah and an ENT specialist. She was also fitted with hearing aids to provide her with ongoing support for her hearing in time for her to begin grade 1.
The Hear to Learn program is designed to pick up hearing issues early on in life and plays a critical role in removing barriers to education.
The services provided through the program are particularly valuable in regional Queensland, where access to health services is limited.
“This is such a wonderful program. Without it we wouldn't have known Aria had a hearing loss until a lot later in her school life,” Prue said.
“If this was the case, her learning could have been impacted before we realised something could have been going on.”
Aria is now working with Hearing Australia in Mackay and has regular appointments to check on how she is going with her hearing aids.
About Hear to Learn
In 2020, almost 800 students across 23 local schools in regional Queensland had their hearing and vision tested by screeners through Hear to Learn.
Thiess is the founding regional partner of the Hear to Learn program, which started in 2016. Our support for Hear and Say is realised through CARE, Thiess' social investment framework.