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Posts Tagged ‘children’

‘Team’ Hearing Dogs for children

Mum was delivering deaf awareness training to medical students last week and she was asked a question. A student wanted to know if children under 18 could have a hearing dog. Historically, the recipient of a hearing dog had to be over 18 years old.

But all that is changing now! Hearing Dogs for Deaf People are running a pilot project, placing hearing dogs with deaf children.

Billy has been trained to be a hearing dog for Tilli Nixon, who is only 11. (Welcome to the club, Billy!) Billy has transformed Tilli’s life, she has become much more comfortable and confident about her hearing loss. Tilli is now much happier when Billy is around, providing safety, companionship, and a listening ear! He even brings Tilli messages in a purse from her mum.

Hearing dog Cara helps Faye, who is 6, and her mum Dina. When they are out and about, Cara wears two leads. Mum or dad hold the lead attached to the halti and Faye holds the lead attached to the collar.

– Mum, does double the work mean double the biscuits?

Jan Smith is the leader of this project, and she is looking for families who would be interested in taking part in this pilot study and who fulfil the criteria. She needs 12 children, aged between 6 and 11, who are moderately to profoundly deaf, living in families with hearing parents. The family must not have a dog of their own (we like all the attention, you see), and should feel that a hearing dog would benefit the child by increasing their self-confidence and self-esteem, and improve social interaction with other people.

She is looking for applicants living in and around Yorkshire or the surrounding area. If you know someone who would like to be part of this project, or would like further information, contact Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

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