Willow Hoare was identified as having a moderate-severe hearing loss 1 week before her 4th birthday (2 months before starting school). Willow had no intelligible spoken language, understood no speech and had very few basic signs in order to communicate.
The Teacher of the Deaf (ToD) needed to quickly create a package of support, including referral to Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) and implement training to the school and parents to help them best support and manage her needs. Willow’s family needed support throughout the summer months, whilst she had an operation and was unable to wear hearing aids.
The ToD delivered training to the family and to the school. Training included; Deaf Awareness and Basic Signs with peer understanding to ensure that Willow could access the curriculum, be educated in an optimal environment and be able to develop social skills.
The ToD and the Educational Audiologist worked closely with Acute Audiology to maintain effective amplification and provision of assistive devices, with regular assessment of hearing thresholds in both clinical and real world settings.
The ToD gave direct input into language development with ongoing assessments and close liaison with class teacher, SENCo and SLT for target setting and revision.
The Hearing Impairment team provided support from a Specialist Teaching Assistant in school who worked under the direction of the ToD to improve outcomes.
A bespoke package was created to support transition from primary school to secondary school.
By the time Willow left primary school her language levels were age appropriate and she mixed with her peers well. Willow took the lead role in her Primary schools Year 6 musical performance.
Willow was predicted to gain level 5 and 6 in the GCSE’s she took, including mathematics and English and has been accepted on a place to study Performing Arts Level 3 at Heart of Worcestershire College, with an ambition to go into acting.
Feedback from Shirley Hoare, Willow’s mum
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all the team for the hard work helping Willow to become the student she is today. You have been a huge support to Willow and the whole family!
Your helpful advice and support has helped me to communicate with Willow in the early years. Introducing us to support systems and other families helped us realise we were not alone.
I am now in tears, you have helped me nurture and grow this beautiful, kind, creative, funny, sensible young lady who I am very proud of.”