Oscar, from Exeter, is a huge fan of BBC's Gladiators especially Fury who like him is deaf.

Oscar was diagnosed with moderate deafness at five weeks old and started wearing hearing aids at 10 weeks. He has always happily worn them – it’s as if he knows they are helping him.

At just over a year old, we thought Oscar had glue ear and then, after lockdown and the pandemic, it was obvious that his hearing was getting worse. Aged three his hearing was diagnosed as severe to profound and we were referred for cochlear implants.

However, not long before his surgery, scans revealed Oscar had cochlear dysplasia which meant the surgery couldn’t be performed on him.

Our audiologists and teacher of the deaf have always been fantastic and of huge support and when we started to become concerned about Oscar’s speech delay it was the audiologists who suggested Auditory Verbal therapy.

Meeting the Auditory Verbal Therapists at AVUK was wonderful and our therapy sessions make so much sense. The therapy is so easy to fit into your life and you can practise the strategies for developing listening and speaking consistently, using them for everyday activities. Within just two weeks we saw a huge improvement in Oscar’s speech.

His understanding of words and language has always been so good, but as his hearing deteriorated his speech was not clear and Oscar became reluctant to talk and engage. He didn’t want to play with other children and became withdrawn.

Since he started Auditory Verbal therapy, he talks to everyone, his language is brilliant and what has always been inside him, he now shows the world.

He started mainstream school in September 2023 and is doing incredibly well. He loves learning; he is brilliant at reading and some of his friends have said they want hearing aids too! We are just incredibly proud of him.

Our Auditory Verbal therapy sessions at AVUK are online through telepractice and they work really, really well and Oscar loves them. We would love to have them face to face locally, but currently there simply isn’t enough public investment to train the necessary Auditory Verbal therapists within our local services. For anyone thinking about Auditory Verbal therapy, we would absolutely recommend it, but it needs to be made more widely available through public services.

We are lucky to receive financial support through AVUK’s bursary fund to join their family programme - without it, the therapy would not be viable.

Without investment in early and effective support for deaf children the attainment gap is getting wider and wider.

Deafness is a disability but the impact of it can be minimised with early intervention programmes to develop language and communication, like Auditory Verbal therapy. We know that Oscar will always need his hearing aids and accommodations going forward, but because of the early support we and he have had the world is completely open to him.


Megan – Oscar’s Mum