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October 12, 2002

Sound barrier broken

From: Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia Oct. 12, 2002

By EVONNE BARRY, health reporter

JULIA Algie was born with one sound ringing in her ears -- silence.

Her parents, who had no family history of deafness, were devastated by the diagnosis of severe hearing loss.

"We were in shock," says Julia's mum, Jeanette. "You think, 'that can't be right. Tell us something different'.

"But you get over that quickly because you realise you have to get on with helping her."

Enter Taralye, a centre of the Advisory Council for Children with Impaired Hearing.

The specialist early childhood centre in Blackburn has brought sounds and speech to Julia's once silent world.

After being diagnosed at 18 months, she was given a hearing aid and taught to communicate in an oral world.

After 18 months at Taralye, Julia could have a conversation, Mrs Algie says. "Words came slowly at first, but last year words came in a rush."

Yesterday Julia, 5, was celebrating Taralye's new logo.

The Oral Language Centre for Deaf Children relies on $1.3 million of donated funds every year.

Taralye also caters for hearing children, allowing those with cochlear implants and hearing aids to prepare for mainstream life.

© Herald and Weekly Times