Tomorrow, 13th March, is Global Giving’s first donation matching day of 2013. 30% will be added to donations made through www.globalgiving.org/projects/deaf-children/ from 9am EDT (1pm GMT) while funds last (please note offer is through globalgiving.org not globalgiving.co.uk).
We are also delighted to announce changes to our project which mean that your donation will help even more young children with hearing problems. Until now our group has only been able to take babies from the age of nine months, but we are now able to create a new group for very young babies. From now on babies from three months to one year and their parents will have their own dedicated group.
It is usually a great shock for parents to realise that their child can’t hear them. Without support, this shock can deeply affect the way they communicate with their baby. A deaf baby may not be able to hear their mummy cooing over them, but they still look for eye contact and their parents’ smile, they still need to be cuddled and comforted. When parents are consumed with anxiety about their baby’s recently discovered disability, they may not communicate as much in these non-verbal ways. By the time their baby is fitted with a hearing aid a few months later, the essential bond between parent and child may be seriously weakened. Once this happens it is difficult to restore and both parent and child will suffer emotionally and find it harder to start communicating with each other.
Our new group will help parents who are still in a state of shock to overcome their anxiety and to show their baby how much they love them. When their babies are one year old, they will move on to the group you have already heard so much about, where through music and play they will learn to tune in to the world around them.
Don't forget to donate tomorrow if you'd like to help this new group flourish, and watch this space. We'll have more news and pictures when our new group has gathered.
Fedya first came to our club in September 2012 with his mum. This was a difficult time for her as tried to come to terms with Fedya's hearing impairment. In January they started to come to the club regularly and since then they have both changed. Fedya is very curious about the world around him, and his mother helps him with everything.
As well as organised group games to encourage the children to listen, the club also uses finger painting and toys to interact with the children in more natural situations as you can see in our video. They are encouraged to listen and to respond with signs and words if they have started to talk. Parents who don't have any hearing problems can find it difficult to communicate with their hearing-impaired child. These sessions help the parents as much as the children by strengthening communication between them.
It costs £13/$20 to put on a play and painting session for 15 children and their parents. Your donation could help Fedya go to a mainstream kindergarten one day.
Three weeks ago Vova came to our club with his mum. Vova is two and a half years old. It was first discovered just over a month ago that he has a hearing impairment. Up until that point, no one had wondered why this little boy hadn’t started talking at his age. The speech therapist suggested to the parents that they take him to an audiologist to check his hearing. It was a huge shock for his parents when they were told that Vova had a hearing problem.
Vova and his parents have been given a great deal of support and understanding at our club both from the specialists and the other parents. Here they can meet other families with hearing impaired children. They ask lots of questions about how to teach Vova to hear and to speak. His parents are very worried about the fact that Vova started to use a hearing aid so late.
Vova is a lovely boy. He watches everyone attentively, and takes part in all the activities with his mum. He plays well with the other children. We are hoping that soon Vova will say his first words.
Summer has finished and we will be glad to see our parents and children again at our Club! Our club opens its doors in September.
Much has changed in the lives of our families. Many children have already grown up and in September Tema, Angelina, Seraphima and Polina will start mainstream, not special, kindergarten. There, with their peers, they will learn new things and new skills, which will help them in the future to get into a mainstream school. Their mothers can also go out to work now.
Families with children from the age of eight months come to our club. Some of the children have cochlear implants, and some use hearing aids. The children have learnt a lot at the club: they learnt to hear and listen to speech and music, they learnt to play together, and they learnt to say individual words, phrases and short sentences.
Seraphima, or Sima as she is more usually known, is a wonderful, interesting little girl. She wears a cochlear implant and has already learnt to talk. She understands what her mum and other adults are asking her. Sima is already two and a half. She has wonderful parents. They are preparing Sima to have a second cochlear implant fitted. They are very proud that Sima can put on her shoes herself, feeds herself and has other good habits of looking after herself. Sima's mum says that the Club has given both Sima and her parents a great deal.
Today is Global Giving bonus day! This means that if you donate to help children with hearing loss in Russia via Global Giving US, the kind people at Global Giving will add 40%*.
This is a fantastic opportunity to help us reach our target to help 15 Russian babies and toddlers with hearing loss to communicate. Your donations will help fund our club attended by twins Christina and Karina aged three and a half. Hearing loss is just part of Christina's disability. She also has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk. Her sister Karina can hear but she comes to the club too so the sisters can learn to communicate with each other. The twin's mother says that they get excited as soon as they start getting ready to go to the club, and they don't want to leave at the end of the session. Meanwhile, their mother and grandmother have lots of questions for the specialists and the other parents. Their only regret is that they didn't find the club sooner.
So please do make a donation today to help Christina and Karina. You can also help by sharing with your friends via social media or old fashioned word of mouth.
Thank you so much!
*On donations of up to $1,000 donated via US Global Giving on Wednesday 13th June while match funds last.
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