Katy’s Story – a parent of a deaf child

As part of our 40th Birthday celebrations, we asked parents of deaf children, who undertook the Natural Aural Approach with their families with DELTA throughout their childhood, to give us an update about their experience. 

Our young deaf children are our success stories of the Natural Aural Approach from DELTA, providing inspiration and support to families of newly diagnosed deaf children proving that deaf children can speak for themselves, naturally.

We have been delighted to hear from Katy Cheung who shares her story as a parent. 

Katy shares her story

I can’t believe it’s been over 5 years since we attended the DELTA Summer School in Worcester in summer 2016! We still have such fond memories of our experience with the DELTA team and the rest of the families who were there with us. 

Anna is now 7 years old, a student in year 2 in a small public school in the region of Catalonia, Spain. She gets speech therapy provided by the Education Department twice a week (it has just been reduced from three times to twice a week due to the progress she is making). Here in Spain, they have not closed the schools so Anna is still able to get in-person therapy. She does not use any FM or sound field system in class based on the recommendation of her former speech therapist. Her class is small and they believe it is better for her not to rely on such aid but we have used her Mini Mic when she was out for school trips. At home, she prefers to watch TV with the Mini Mic on and she prefers to watch shows in English.

Anna speaks four languages (English, Spanish, Catalan and Chinese Cantonese). Her English and Catalan are the most fluent, followed by Spanish and then Cantonese. We take the one-person-one-language approach and it has worked so well from the very beginning. Academically, Anna is thriving at school. Her first trimester’s report indicates that she is very good/excellent in all her subjects although they mentioned several times that she doesn’t always pay attention(!) She is reading and writing at or above grade level. Her English reading has improved tremendously since the lockdown back in March last year. We always ensure that the subtitles are on when she’s watching TV and she is very used to it now. 

In 2018, Anna became an older sister to Jasmine who is now two and a half. They play together and have a lot of fun despite the almost five-year age gap. Jasmine does not have hearing loss and is also multilingual. They mostly speak English with each other. 

Socially, she enjoys playing with her friends. Her class is small with only 13 children. Her cousin is also her classmate and they spend a lot of time playing together when they are not in school as well. 

Anna still wears the same cochlear implant and hearing aid as she was since she was one year old. We have been very lucky and have had few problems with her devices. She is due to have a new CI processor next year or the year after as the policy here is to update the CI processor every 7-8 years. 

We would love to know how the other families who went to the same workshop with us are now doing. We still have the lovely booklet made by DELTA staff, the photos remind us of how lovely it was and we hope to be able to come again in the future. 

In the mean time we would love to take part in any online workshops.

Katy Cheung

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