MUM Natasha Kenney never has to shout.

Her children Amelie and Xavier are just like any other kids who love to run and play, but if they go too far, mum gently speaks into a tiny microphone on her shirt and her voice is carried right into the ears of the siblings.

The Brisbane children were born profoundly deaf and have been fitted with cochlear implants.

The Bluetooth technology gives the kids freedom and mum peace of mind that they can still hear her voice in a noisy or crowded environment.

Mum's voice can travel more than 20m.

Natasha and Marc Kenney with children Amelie 4, and Xavier, 2, who both have  cochlear implants. Picture: Lachie Millard
Natasha and Marc Kenney with children Amelie 4, and Xavier, 2, who both have cochlear implants. Picture: Lachie Millard

Amelie, 4 and Xavier, 2, did not hear mum's voice until they were both seven months old and their implants were switched on.

"Thinking of those switch on days still makes me emotional," she said.

"When I spoke to them I could see the connection in their eyes. There was an instant bond.

"Of course we had previously communicated with hugs and facial expression but this was different. Children can be frightened when they first hear but it was a very special moment."

The Kenney children are two of the 50 per cent of children who are deaf and the cause is unknown.

Xavier Kenney, 2, who was born deaf, is now enjoying a world filled with sounds. Picture: Lachie Millard
Xavier Kenney, 2, who was born deaf, is now enjoying a world filled with sounds. Picture: Lachie Millard

 

Up to 180 Queenslanders are born with hearing loss every year and the cost to support these children averages $10,000 each year, for up to six years.

"It was a shock when the kids were diagnosed but we have had the support of the Hear and Say organisation. The staff there have been with my husband Marc and I every step of the way," Ms Kenney said.

Hear and Say is a charity supporting children and young adults across five centres, as well as via a telepractice program for rural and remote families.

They offer services in audiology, listening and spoken language therapy, school hearing screening, social skills programs, and physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Loud Shirt Day will be held on October 19 to raise funds for Hear and Say.



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