A few weeks ago in Hartley Bay, Krystal Dundas wore a huge smile as her daughter Kadence, who is hard of hearing, had her first speech-language therapy appointment through telehealth! Thanks to the easy accessibility that telehealth provides, this appointment is the first of many Kadence will have as she grows and develops - without needing to leave her community.
The family is receiving services from a Northern Health Authority speech-language therapist located in Haida Gwai and an outreach consultant who specializes in hearing loss from the BC Family Hearing Resource Society based in Surrey. The speech-language therapist will also visit the family in Hartley Bay two to three times per year.
This new service uses FNHA telehealth equipment and the BC Early Hearing Program to support speech and language services for young deaf and hard of hearing children across BC. The purpose is to connect families to service providers with specialized expertise as early in the child's life as possible.
When a baby is born deaf or hard of hearing, the process of developing language can be delayed. Speech and language services are essential for preventing delays in language development. Weekly therapy sessions are recommended for babies and young children with significant hearing loss. Before telehealth, accessing these early communication development services had been very difficult for families living in remote First Nations communities.
As featured in Sharing Our Stories