Loud Shirt Day is an extra-special day for Melbourne’s iconic Italian supermarket, LaManna, at Essendon Fields. Grandson of the store’s founder, Nicholas Crivelli, is nearly five and was born with severe hearing loss.
October is loud shirt month at LaManna. The store is decorated with posters and leaflets to promote and explain the work of NextSense. And $1 from each sale of the famous La Manna lamington muffin packs is donated by the store.
Nicholas wears hearing aids. NextSense is helping him prepare for kindergarten next year and then primary school the year after. It has been a steep learning curve for his mum Stefanie.
'Nicholas has a disability that people can’t see until they notice his hearing aids. It is surprising how many people are just not aware of kids with hearing aids,' says Stefanie.
'I was just the same. In my mind I thought deafness and hearing aids were about the elderly.'
NextSense has helped Nicholas and our entire family so much. He has such a happy, positive attitude and amazing resilience, thanks to all the help he has received from his expert therapists.
Nicholas has been enrolled in NextSense early intervention since 2019 – just about for all his young life. He is looking forward to “big school” and his mum and his very big family want to do as much as they can to give back to NextSense so that many more children like him can get the right support. Children with hearing loss can reach their full potential with the right tools, resources and knowledge.
Early intervention makes a big difference in long-term speech and language outcomes. At NextSense, there is a focus on putting the family at the centre of services to tailor therapy to each child’s individual needs and coordinate the care they receive to help them navigate the system. An expert team comes together to bring a range of perspectives to the care of each child. This, and acting early, makes the world of difference.