Deaf Northern Ireland boy seeks support for charity that helped him speak
A six-year-old deaf boy from Northern Ireland is encouraging people to raise money for the charity that taught him to speak.
Ethan Anderson and parents Krystal and Neil, from Lisburn, are urging people to take part in Loud Shirt Day next Friday, June 8, for charity Auditory Verbal UK.
It works with pre-school deaf children with hearing aids or cochlear implants to teach them to listen and speak without relying on sign language or lip reading.
The charity is based in London, but Ethan received therapy through a combination of flying over and remotely via Skype.
Ethan failed the newborn hearing test at 10 days old and when he was five months his parents were told that hearing aids would never give him enough access to sound.
He was referred to the cochlear implant team in Belfast and Krystal and Neil threw themselves into researching options, determined that Ethan would be able to speak. They came across Auditory Verbal UK, and were amazed at clips of deaf children listening and speaking.
Krystal said: "Since that day we have never looked back.
"There were definitely challenges learning over Skype but I can genuinely say that these challenges helped improve Ethan and my communication with each other."