Molly's Story

Born profoundly deaf, Molly was supported to learn to listen and speak through Auditory Verbal therapy – now 18 she is studying A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths with an ambition to study biochemistry at university.

Molly from Huddersfield received her cochlear implants when she was 21 months old but Mum Emma knew that she would need extra support to ensure that she made the best use of her hearing technology.

Emma explained: “It was a huge shock when we found out Molly was deaf but then we did everything we could to find out how we could support her to do all the things that hearing children do.

We wanted her to develop spoken language and although cochlear implants are an amazing technology research showed us that they alone would not be enough to ensure Molly would be able to speak.

We found out about AVUK’s Auditory Verbal therapy family programme and saw videos of other deaf children speaking like their hearing friends.

Then we began the fortnightly journey from our home, which at the time was in Lincoln, to AVUK’s Oxford centre.

The specialist programme uses play and everyday situations to support the child’s listening and spoken language skills. As parents we learnt to introduce the strategies into day-to-day life and it became second nature.

Molly graduated from the family programme aged five with spoken language skills ahead of a typical child her age and has since gone from strength to strength proving that with effective and early support to develop language and communication deaf babies and children can achieve their potential.

Molly said: I’ve never felt that being deaf could mean that I don’t get to have the same opportunities in life that others do. I’ve only ever recognised my deafness as an additional challenge that others don’t experience. I’ve never felt this challenge to be too great for me to overcome and while I believe that those around me feel the same way, it is important to recognise that people who don’t have any experience of deafness wouldn’t have the same expectations. I feel it is crucial to educate people who don’t have experience with deafness so that young deaf people are encouraged to have the same goals in life as hearing people and that they don’t feel held back by society having lower expectations for myself and other young deaf people.”

She has progressing wonderfully through her education, did brilliantly in her GCSE’s and is now predicted to achieve amazing A Level results and start university.

Her ambition is to work in a laboratory doing scientific research and as well as studying hard she is learning to drive as well as continuing to enjoy arts and crafts.

Being deaf has never stopped Molly from doing anything and the support from AVUK has definitely given her and us as a family the confidence to know that she can achieve her dreams.”

Emma, Molly’s Mum.