Rafi failed his newborn hearing screenings twice. We were then referred to Charing Cross Hospital for further checks which revealed that he had a mild to moderate bilateral sensorial hearing loss. His diagnosis came as shock but the most overwhelming part was the fluctuation in his hearing which we could not seem to get answers on.

When he was 8-months old Rafi was fitted with his first pair of hearing aids and he started speech therapy at 11 months both in French and English. However he was not 100% engaged, there was very little noticeable progress and we were very worried about his speech delay.

When Rafi turned two we were told that he had a speech delay of 12 months.  At that time, we were completely at a loss and quite desperate, questioning whether our child would even be able to go to school one day.

We heard about AVUK from a family that we met through the speech therapy. We decided to give it a try as we were determined to do whatever it took to help Rafi.

AVUK gave us hope and more ambition for Rafi. All of sudden the sky was the limit. Rafi absolutely loved his sessions, he looked forward to them each time and never felt “tested”. For us, as parents, it was an eye-opener and changed the way we communicated with our son.

AVUK was a safe and welcoming environment where we could share our concerns with people who knew what Rafi was going through and were best positioned to help him. It gave us support, it gave us answers and it gave us techniques that we could apply every day to support our child.

Even in lockdown our sessions continued online and they simply exceeded our expectations. Rafi was kept constantly engaged and thoroughly looked forward to them.

Rafi started to make noticeable progress. After a year, he had already caught-up some of his delay. By the time he graduated from AVUK he joined his mainstream school’s reception class with age appropriate speech.

We don’t want to think about our experience if we hadn’t found AVUK. Our main regret is that we did not start the programme earlier. We are still wondering why AVUK was not mentioned by his speech therapist nor his audiologist. We really hope that the programme becomes widely accessible to all children with hearing loss

Rafi is a happy little boy, who is always very engaged in his class and voices his opinions. He enjoys reading and writing. We could not be more proud of the progress he has made and we want to say thank you to everyone at AVUK who believed in Rafi from day one.

Kenza and Antoine

You can enjoy a wonderful story from Rafi here