For Jabiru parents, Mikaela and Stuart Mobsby, it was clear from an early age that their profoundly deaf son, Stanley, would need cochlear implants to gain access to sound.
“Stanley failed his newborn hearing screening test when he was five days old,” said Mikaela. “Additional tests revealed that our son was deaf.”
Stanley was fitted with two hearing aids at four weeks of age.
“We never saw a response from the hearing aids, even with loud sounds,” said Mikaela. “We knew early on that his only chance to access sound would be through cochlear implants.”
Now 2 years and 8 months old, in September 2013 Stanley received two cochlear implants.
“The week after his surgery he had his implants ‘switched on’ and he responded immediately,” said Stuart. “We then went across the road to the shops and it was like an awakening. He was wide eyed and looking around. He wasn’t just responding to new things, he was interested in the sounds. It was amazing.”
Now Stanley’s speech and language is coming along in leaps and bounds.
“We’re just amazed every day,” said Mikaela. “We have assessments every 6 months through RIDBC and he has caught up with his peers. He is now speaking all the time, using three to four word sentences. In our sessions with RIDBC we learn the strategies we need to use at home to support his learning. That’s essential – the things we learn in our sessions keep us on track and ensure Stanley’s progress.
“Our RIDBC Consultant, Rachel Brindal, is always showing us ways to challenge Stanley to keep him ahead of the game. Now Stanley is just a typical boy – he loves dinosaurs and boats. Everyone he meets he wants to give them a cuddle! With his cochlear implants and the support we receive from RIDBC, we know he’ll now have the same opportunities as other children, and that’s really the main goal.”
Mikaela and Stuart are grateful for the support they have received.
“This would have been a very different journey without support from RIDBC,” said Mikaela. “As a regional family it’s been incredible to be able to access in-person services from RIDBC Darwin, as well as remote services through RIDBC Teleschool, which supports us with weekly videoconferencing sessions in our home. With RIDBC, at no point in our journey have we felt alone, or that Stanley would miss out because he doesn’t live in a major metropolitan centre.”
SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, an RIDBC service, supports clients to access a range of implantable hearing devices according to their needs. The program provides support for life with a seamless, end-to-end suite of services, from early intervention and education; through to specialist assessment; surgical liaison and support; and re/habilitation services, delivering the highest level of care and support to people of all ages.
With 17 sites across Australia, RIDBC enables you to access services from any one of our centres. For those in regional and remote locations, our advanced videoconferencing and device mapping technology enables us to deliver services directly into your home, no matter where you live.
For more information about cochlear implants or SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, visit ridbc.org.au/scic or call 1300 658 981.
RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with hearing or vision loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.
RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in the lives of children and adults with vision or hearing loss.