Two weeks after he was born David failed his newborn hearing test and was diagnosed with severe to profound hearing loss. At three months old he was fitted with hearing aids but tests showed these were not allowing him to access all sounds.

Just before he was a year old David had his cochlear implant surgery at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

David’s Mum Irina explained: “I found out about Auditory Verbal UK online and started attending sessions even before his surgery. We travelled to Oxford every two weeks but the journey was worth it. It took a lot of effort and determination but it was worth it.

“AVUK changed our lives. It has been the best intervention for David’s speech, language, socialisation and development skills and AVUK has been amazing so helpful and supportive every step of the way.”

Irina and David’s family support network are from Romania and his AVUK sessions were initially carried out in both English and Romanian.

“We were concerned about David learning to listen and speak full stop and worried that trying to teach a deaf child two languages was just not doable but AVUK not only made us believe it was possible but proved it was possible.

“Now David is a very popular and sociable 11-year-old with language skills in both English and Romanian. He spends the summer holidays in Romania, where his grandparents live and speaks solely Romanian. People there are always impressed with his ability to speak both languages and switch from one language to the other.

“David loves reading, skateboarding and skiing. He likes playing football and riding his bike. He is very active and he is doing really well in school.

“Without the fantastic support we had from AVUK I am not sure how David would have developed and thrived the way he did. We are so glad we found out about them early on and we had the amazing opportunity to turn what seemed to be a sad and worrying experience into a fun and optimistic one. Looking back to those days, I loved playing and reading to David carrying on the therapy at home.

“We are so proud of him. His teachers say that in school he is always engaged and confident to ask questions and seeks answers to clarify. He is a valued member of his class and children look up to him. He loves his little sister and has a great sense of humour.“He has big dreams and aspirations and we know that sky is the limit for David.”

What would Irina say to other families with a deaf baby or child: “My advice would be to enjoy every minute every step of the way, don’t let worries get in the way of enjoying your baby. Be determined and keep persevering, you’ll realise that every day becomes brighter and children have amazing little brains that absorb everything that goes on around them. Play a game, read a story, sing a song, talk about the sky, people and feelings one day everything pays off.

“If I could have fast forwarded our life ten years ago, it would have saved many tears and sleepless nights.”