Mums unite to help the deaf

Wigan and Leigh Deaf Children's Society, a group run by parents supporting deaf children and their families
Wigan and Leigh Deaf Children's Society, a group run by parents supporting deaf children and their families

THREE Wigan mothers have launched a new society for deaf children.

Parents, Katie O’Reilly, Jodie Telford and Nicola Rigby all share one common interest - they each have a child with a hearing impairment.

And their aim is to support families in the same situation.

Founder, Katie, said that with the backing from the National Deaf Children’s Society she believes she can give other parents the facilities they need to teach their child to communicate.

She said: “When my son Oliver was diagnosed at just five months I, like many other parents, went through a form of grieving process.

“I mean you think your child is going to be perfect and it’s a shock to the system to find out they have a disability.

“My way of dealing with the news was to throw myself in trying to understand the condition.

“Now, I want to help others learn how to communicate with their child and know that they’re not alone.

“And it’s not just for deaf children, I have two other youngsters who think that Oliver is the only child in the world with the condition.”

The society will hold regular coffee mornings for members.

Using their own experiences, the three mothers will organise the meetings to suit the needs of others.

She added: “Personally, I don’t think there is enough care in Wigan for deaf children.

“I want to bring the kids together as well as their families so they can share their experiences and get tips from others.

“It can be hard to find enough time to catch up with others because having this disability is so demanding, there are numerous appointments to attend each week.

“You start to feel upset and anxious and I want people to know that we’re here to listen in a more compassionate way which is different to medical advice.

“So with the option of regular meetings, all families can find time to attend.”

The group, which is also being backed by Wigan Audiology Department, will support children with a hearing impairment on any level.

Katie added: “I think that it’s really important children get to meet other children with the same condition so that they don’t feel alone and they can learn to interact within their own way.

“These children go into mainstream schools where they can feel isolated from others.

“Through the group we want to be able to pay for sign language and other speciality classes for children and their parents.”

For more information contact Katie O’Reilly on 07872664995.