Accessibility Statement
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Seek support at the earliest opportunity


Karen and Millie’s StoryA MOTHER whose daughter is profoundly deaf has told how accessing the right support at the earliest opportunity has proven invaluable to the family.

Karen Burns, from Droylsden, told her daughter Millie – who was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf at the age of one – had been able to keep up with her peers thanks to receiving additional support from a young age.

She said: “The earlier you can get the right support for your child, the better. Realising your child needs extra help can be an emotional, confusing and frightening journey but you don’t have to go it alone - there is expert guidance available and people who will support you get the best for your child every step of the way.”

Karen told how a newborn screening test picked up that Millie was deaf in one ear and 12 months later it was established she had lost all of her hearing.

“Millie went from developing fairly normally and saying dada and mama to virtually stopping speaking by her first birthday. I also realised she would not turn if I called her name or walked into a room.

“Once she was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf in both ears, I was put in touch with specialist teachers for the deaf who have been a massive support right through Millie’s journey. As well as teaching her to hear with her cochlear implant, they have helped us choose schools where she can be best supported, trained her teachers, provided equipment and supported us in getting an Education Health Care Plan so that she gets extra support in class.”

Millie is now ten and thriving in primary school while planning her move to secondary education – again with the support for the teachers of the deaf.

“They have been amazing and have made all the difference for Millie. It’s really important that every child that needs support gets it and that families know where to go,” said Karen.

The Local Offer – which can be accessed on the Tameside Council website at - should be the first port of call for anyone who has concerns about their child’s development.

It is aimed at all families who feel their children may need some extra help because of additional needs – these could be emotional, physical, behavioural and/or medical and anything from difficulties learning to read to a profound disability.

The Local Offer webpage signposts to all the services and support available for children and young people aged ) 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities and their families while also helping families and professionals make informed decisions. Parents and carers are encouraged to seek advice as soon as they identify any concerns so that children can receive all the support they may need from the earliest opportunity and find out what they are entitled to.