Stephanie Chua

After Rachel was diagnosed with hearing impairment and fitted with hearing aids when she was seven months old, I brought her to KK Hospital (KKH) nearly every week to see the Audio-Visual Therapist (AVT). Because she was picking up language skills very slowly, the AVT suggested surgery for a cochlear implant and the operation was done when she was two. After that, we had to go to KKH every week to see the AVT. After the implant, I could see that she was now picking up language quite fast with more words and short sentences starting to come out from her.

Rachel was encouraged to go to the playgroup when she was three to pick up her social skills. It was also at this age that she was introduced to go for music therapy with SGH as she had some problems picking up some higher frequency words. It was the music therapist who suggested Rachel go to Canossian School to attend the Early Intervention Programme for Infant and Child (EIPIC) program. Before this suggestion, I had already heard some parents talking about Canossian School and the support program it provides for hearing-impaired children.

Rachel started attending Canossian School when she was four. She was attending PAP Community Foundation (PCF) kindergarten in the morning and Canossian School in the afternoon for the EIPIC program. Due to the smaller class size at Canossian School, she can pick up even more language. She was trained to ask for things that she needed and perhaps most importantly being able to change her own batteries, become more aware when the device is down and to familiarize herself with the FM usage and its importance.

Moreover, the school has loving and patient teachers to guide the children. The children also felt more comfortable in the school because everyone has the same impairment and it boosts the confidence of the children when it comes to making friends. I felt this helped a lot as social interactions for children with hearing impairment may be very challenging and with the increased confidence, they will find it easier to adapt to life in a more “main-stream” setting such as Canossa Convent Primary School

Rachel is now 10 and is still happy and coping well with lots of friends at Canossian School.

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