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Giving deaf children the gift of sound and speech

It's been well documented how important it is for children with hearing loss to gain access to sound as early as possible to help them build a spoken-language future.

This is why the Shepherd Centre offers a suite of programs and services that can be tailored to meet the individual needs and goals of each family.

The Shepherd Centre is a service available for children and families primarily living in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, and Australia; however, our programs, services, and therapy are world-leading.

Giving a child access to sound as soon as possible is essential to their development and to their future. Since sound is heard and interpreted with our brains and not our ears, children with hearing loss have particular difficulty learning how to make sense of sound.

If treatment is delayed, regardless of the type or degree of hearing loss, their language and learning ability can be seriously impaired. This means early detection and intervention are key factors in ensuring normal development of language and learning.

The Shepherd Centre enables families living with hearing loss to build support networks, access state-of-the-art resources, and help their child develop age-appropriate language, listening, and social skills. The research we perform informs and backs up our programs and services, providing families with the latest news and information on childhood hearing loss.

Our programs offer language, listening, and social skills development for children; access to sound via our cochlear implant program; social, intellectual, emotional, and physical development for children; and support and resources for families living in rural and remote areas.

Our qualified clinical team of audiologists, listening and spoken language specialists, and child family counsellors work with the children and their families through all stages of their treatment and therapy.

As the child’s primary teacher and role model, we aim to equip parents, carers, grandparents, and siblings with the skills and knowledge required to give a hearing-impaired child every opportunity for listening, learning, language, and social development at home and in everyday life. We train the family so that speech therapy becomes a fun part of daily life.

The Shepherd Centre also offers accredited training courses for teachers and other professionals working with young people with hearing loss. The aim is to equip them with the necessary knowledge and practical skills required to assist children with hearing loss to develop clear, age-appropriate speech, language, and social skills through listening in a variety of educational settings.

Our commitment to seeing all children with hearing loss develop these much-needed skills is reflected in our graduates, of whom more than 90 percent continue onto mainstream education and reach their full potential.

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The Shepherd Centre works with hearing-impaired children and their families to ensure every child is given the opportunity to fully engage in the hearing world; to learn to listen and to speak.

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