Supporting children like Elliott during Covid-19

3 June 2020

Baby Elliott

Elliott’s story

Despite his hearing loss, Elliott is a happy, cheeky little boy, who can be shy to begin with, but will then chat for hours once comfortable.

Elliott was diagnosed with hearing loss at just a few weeks old. With no previous history of hearing loss in his family, it came as a complete shock to his parents, Becky and Dan.

Elliott struggles to hear sounds clearly, which makes learning to speak harder for him. He’s been wearing hearing aids since he was just 12 weeks old, though he wasn’t a fan of keeping them on at first!

Elliott is supported by charity The Elizabeth Foundation, where he receives specialist education and one-to-one speech and language therapy to develop vital listening and spoken language skills.

Since joining The Elizabeth Foundation, Elliott’s vocabulary and speech clarity is coming on amazingly,” says Mum Becky. “He particularly enjoys practising his letter sounds; he writes well and has even managed to read a few words to his baby brother!”

Living with hearing loss during lockdown

Elliott with his baby brother

With social distancing measures in place, children like Elliott are even more isolated, facing huge changes to their routines, the people they see, and their ability to process what’s happening around them.

For Elliott, not being able to attend specialist education services means that he doesn’t get to see his preschool friends either; a really important part of practising his communication and social skills. That’s why it’s even more important at the moment for Elliott to continue learning at home.

Elliot’s teacher and therapist are making the most of digital to help him progress and maintain much-needed contact. Even during lockdown, the team provide online lessons, videos clips, video-therapy and consistent guidance through skype, email and phone calls.

Deputy CEO, Karen Vaughan BEM said, “It is so important for deaf children to have access to expert support to develop strong communication skills, which underpin opportunities to learn, to stay safe and maintain good mental health. At this particularly challenging time, it is equally important for parents to be able to share their worries and concerns with a dedicated team.”

The Elizabeth Foundation

The Elizabeth Foundation believes every child with hearing loss should have the best possible start in life.

The charity delivers a wide range of services, all aimed at helping young children with hearing loss (from birth to five years) learn to listen and talk.

From ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted-rated education and online resources, to speech and music therapy, The Elizabeth Foundation is committed to continue supporting young children and their families through the current crisis.

Let’s Listen and Talk

With so many families unable to access face-to-face support during lockdown, The Elizabeth Foundation’s online service, ‘Let’s Listen and Talk’, has become even more important.

‘Let’s Listen and Talk’ provides reliable information, lesson materials, videos and advice for parents and professionals who care for young children with hearing loss.

Created specifically for families who want to help their child develop listening, spoken language and communication skills during the crucial early years, the service is available for free to families and professionals anywhere in the UK.

As one external professional recently said, “I have to say the service is fantastic and I absolutely love the videos. Parents can dip in and out of lessons and take things at their own pace, which is especially useful at the moment when they cannot see people face to face.”

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more about supporting The Elizabeth Foundation through this difficult time, please visit elizabeth-foundation.org

Alternatively, you can contact Karen Vaughan by emailing karen.vaughan@elizabeth-foundation.org or calling 02392 372735.