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Travel with Roger Focus
by Helena Mills Bowers

Hey! My name is Helena and I have Auditory Processing Disorder. APD impacts the way your brain sorts and processes sound, which makes it really difficult to cipher through background noise and multiple people talking at the same time. I believe that I have had this for most of my life, but never realised it, until just over a year ago, when it started to get worse. 

Cody's Story
by Gemma Naylor

Cody was born in 2010 and at birth he had Microtia of the right ear. As a younger mum I didn’t understand what this meant for Cody at the time and what a journey we would be going on.

Cody did not pass his Newborn Hearing Screen in hospital and we were referred to audiology very quickly. We saw the audiologist a couple of weeks later and Cody slept through the whole thing!

Ed's Accountancy Apprenticeship

As Ed (20) discusses his plans for the next five years, it’s clear he knows exactly what he wants from his career. But it hasn’t always been so straightforward. Although Ed, who’s severely to profoundly deaf and wears hearing aids, knew he wanted to become an accountant, his school pushed him to apply for university. “During our A-levels, we had PSHE sessions every fortnight and they were all about going to university,” Ed recalls. “I don’t remember anything specific about apprenticeships.”

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Shirley Sorbie MBE

by Kevin Forbes DDCS Chairman

1992 was an interesting year, for many reasons. Britain crashed out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, we had an election – won by the Tories and the labour leader Neil Kinnock resigned straight away, Charles and Di separated and although it was actually the Queens 40th anniversary, she declared it an ‘annus horriblis’ oh, and Shirley Sorbie joined Dorset Deaf Children’s Society 

DDCS Grant for Sign Language

My name is Sue and I am a mum of five. I have three grown up children and two still at home. My youngest son Tyler at birth experienced difficulties in feeding and at 2 days old we found out why - a cleft palate. The cleft team informed us it may result in glue ear.

By Keira Quinn

I work as a 1/1 TA at Corpus Christi Primary School and am immensely proud to work in year 5 supporting a hardworking young man called Conor, who is profoundly deaf, and has cochlear implants. For the most part, Conor works independently and contributes well in class, overcoming barriers which can make concentration difficult, such as background noise and peripheral sounds such as pencil tapping, chairs moving etc.


By Aleesha Lloyd

Isla was born in June 2017.  I had a very straight forward pregnancy, and a relatively easy birth with no complications.  Isla and I were discharged from hospital four hours after she was born.  Her new born checks were all completed, except for the new born hearing screening test and I was happy for the test to be carried out a few days later when we were settled back at home.


By Elaine & Jamie Sanderson

Ollie was diagnosed with a conductive hearing loss (moderate level) in both ears after a health visitor check. They realised that Ollie was lip reading and if we covered our mouths he couldn’t follow basic instructions.  Following ENT advice he had his first set of grommets when he was 4, they also removed his adenoids as it was considered this might be contributing to the problem. We remember so clearly him walking on the grass the afternoon after his operation asking why his feet made a noise on the grass and jumping up and down on the decking because it made a new sound.


By Nicky Findley

When Katie Bray penned a poem about her young son Owen, it touched the hearts of hundreds of families across the country. For each one could relate in some way to the sentiment that had inspired the proud mum’s prose, as they are all members of the Dorset Deaf Children’s Society. The Charity which relies on donations and fundraisers, provides free support for all families with a hearing impaired child in Dorset. Katie, a dental nurse who lives with her husband Martin and two son’s Alfie, eight, and Owen, five, near Christchurch, says she was distraught when she was told that her five week old baby was profoundly deaf in both ears.


By Lynne Tilley

My daughter Jayleigh was born 6 weeks premature and at the age of 7 months was diagnosed with a hearing impairment. She was referred to Addenbrookes Hospital and when she was 18 months old they told me I had 5 weeks to teach her 6 signs to demonstrate she had the ability to learn language before deciding to invest in a £50,000 operation. 


By Jackie Ballard

In 1993 Katie Ballard was the first British child born deaf to receive a Cochlear Implant. At the time the operation made front page news and the family also appeared on national television. Katie grew up in Wimborne and has since been travelling the world. Jackie, Katie’s mum, talks about her experience.


By David Maidment

Our son Callum was born in Poole Hospital in February 2005.  Within hours of his birth, we were told that there were some physical defects and these would have to be investigated.  Little did we know what was going to happen and the roller-coaster of emotions that we would go though in the next 10 years!


By Tom Sorbie

My name is Tom and I am 26 years old. I have a bi-lateral sensory neural hearing loss, severe to profound in high frequency and moderate in low frequency. My hearing loss was diagnosed when I was three and half years which was when I got my hearing aids. It wasn’t smooth sailing, I was determined not to wear them and did everything possible to get rid of them including flushing them down the toilet, throwing them out the car window and putting them inside a cake Mum was baking. I was a crafty little kid coming up with inventive ways to lose them.  Luckily, the penny finally dropped that it was most definitely better for me to wear them and save my parents from an inevitable nervous breakdown!


By Gemma Farthing

Kallum has a high frequency hearing loss and has worn hearing aids since he was five years old. He has always loved watching musicals from a young age and has a huge passion for singing and in January 2015 he started lessons with Centre Stage Dance School where he does ballet, tap, singing and performing arts.


By Michael and Lucy Calverley

Michael and I still remember the day in August 2011 when an audiologist at Dorchester hospital told us that our 4 week old daughter Olivia was profoundly deaf. We were both hugely shocked – there was no history of deafness in either of our families and neither of us had any experience with deafness - we were devastated. So many things ran through our minds; how will we communicate with her? Will she ever speak? Will she ever hear anything? How will she cope at school/work etc etc. We were given a lot of information in the first few days after her diagnosis, including a DDCS leaflet. Over the next few weeks we looked on the DDCS website and started to read some of the stories from other families. These were so positive and really filled us with hope.


By Sia Douglas

Hi my name is Sia. For most of my life I haven’t worn hearing aids and even though I struggled at times, I managed without them. It did mean I was extremely tired at times and often misheard things in school. But when I was 13 I was told about DDCS and the events and trips that they hold for other young deaf people like me. So I went on my first PGL trip, which was amazing!


By Lucy Armstrong

Around a year ago, you would have been reading about the beginning of my NDCS YAB (National Deaf Children’s Society Youth Advisory Board) experience, but sadly all good things have to come to an end, and the YAB have just completed their final residential in Cardiff.
My name is Lucy and I am now 15, when I first started on the YAB I was 13 years old and eager for my voice to be heard but as I gained my place on the board and got older, my voice has got louder, and stronger!


By Katrina Ingman

My daughter Ava was born at 38 weeks followed 2 minutes later by her twin brother James at Frimley Park General Hospital on 29 September 2008. Both were healthy, happy and contented hearing babies. Three months later on New Year’s Day 2009 Ava contracted pneumococcal meningitis which left her profoundly deaf in both ears. Four months later she was implanted with bilateral cochlear implants.


By Sarah Charles

I'd like to introduce my family - Lewis Charles aged 8, Joe Charles aged 3, Nigel Bacon and myself Sarah Charles and let’s just say we've both reached milestone birthdays this year and it was not 21!!  Lewis, Joe and myself have a moderate sensory neural hearing loss, the boys were diagnosed at the newborn screening test and I was diagnosed at 5 years of age. We all wear two hearing aids each and we must cost the NHS a fortune in batteries


By Lucy Armstrong

Hello, I am Lucy, I am 13 years old, I am a year 9 pupil at The Thomas Hardye School and I live with my mum, dad and sister Katie. My hobbies are reading, playing my clarinet, rugby, singing, netball and running. I play rugby for Dorchester RFC U15 and sing in the Thomas Hardye Harmony group.


By Michael Calverley

My daughter Olivia was diagnosed as profoundly deaf in both ears at four weeks old on 22 August 2011. I remember the day vividly because the news came as such a shock. My wife Lucy and I had no previous experience of hearing loss and we just didn’t expect this diagnosis. The first few weeks after finding out were the worst of my life. I cried a lot and felt sorry for her – I now know I needn't have.


By Kelly Sherman

Harry Sherman is one of our youngest members. He was one of the first children identified by the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme. He has since had dual cochlear implants. His Mum Kelly has kindly written an article about his diagnosis and his progress.


By Jamie Sorbie

My name is Jamie Sorbie and I am sixteen years old. I developed a severe hearing loss when I was seven years old and have worn hearing aids in both ears ever since. I have also recently become a trustee of Dorset DCS because I wanted to become more involved with the charity and represent younger members on the committee.


By Laura Bolter

In May 2008 one of our members, Laura Bolter entered the Ferndown Carnival Queen competition. Laura did not tell anybody on the panel of judges that she was deaf and her cochlear implant was well hidden in her long blonde hair.


Stuart Ring

Over the May 2008 Bank Holiday weekend the Ring family made the long journey to Loughborough University in Leicestershire. Their son Stuart Ring, aged 10, had been invited to compete in the Great Britain Deaf Swimming Championships for the first time. Stuart swims for West Dorset Warriors Swimming Club based in Dorchester and is their only county level deaf swimmer.


By Kelly Sorbie

Deafness has been a part of my daily life for as long as I can remember. I have two younger brothers Tom and Jamie and my dad Charlie, who are all hearing impaired. It’s a fairly unusual situation to be in as a family, but one I wouldn’t change for the world.


By Kate Ballard

Aloha! (Its means Hello in Hawaii!) My name is Kate Ballard and from the 7th July-31st July 2007 I was in Hawaii for three weeks. While I was staying there I was with another girl called Catherina! And she is Italian and also she is 17 years old. After 11th July I met the rest of the group, which is 28 people altogether. They came from all over Europe including Denmark, Holland, Germany, Turkey and Israel and also one girl from Mongolia and one from mainland America.

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