Editor, The Times:
You know that butterflies symbolize beauty, hope, grace, freedom, liberation, transformation and new life.
But did you know that butterflies are deaf?
Therefore butterflies are excellent and wonderful symbols for the children we need to help to hear and speak.
The transformation a butterfly goes through parallels the experience of a child who learns to hear and speak, emerging from a cocoon of silence ready to spread his/her wings and encounter the world.
Times change. Technological advances and exhaustive therapies including cochlear implants enable many deaf and hard-of-hearing children to be transformed – breaking out of their silent cocoons, spreading their wings and flying off to encounter the world.
We’ve come a long ways. Now we must look ahead and continue to make a difference. Early detection is everyones responsibility. Detection can and should be happening at birth so that intervention and access to the habilitative programs and services these children need will enable them to immediately begin to live their lives to their highest potential. Waiting for detection of hearing impairment at the age of two or the age of six is not acceptable. We know a late diagnosis is associated with irreversible long-term language and learning deficits, and major costs.
The Canadian Paediatric Society and the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA) recommend hearing screening for all newborns.
Times change. Values don’t. Elks and Royal Purple continue to support and work with your help to ensure universal newborn hearing screening across Canada is a reality.