SEVEN-year-old Orson Grimer wants other deaf children to have the same opportunities as him and alongside his family is launching #LoudShirtDay 2021 – the annual fundraising event for Auditory Verbal UK the charity which supported Orson to learn to listen and speak.
Loud Shirt Day will take place with a wave of colour across the country on October 22 and challenges families, businesses and individuals to get LOUD and create a sound future for deaf children.
Orson, from Aldbury, Hertfordshire, has been selected as the 2021 LOUD Shirt Day Ambassador after completing a range of challenges with his family and school raising more than £10,000 for the event last year. With inspiration from Orson, the aim is to raise even more money this year and support more deaf babies to learn to listen and speak.
As he launched the countdown to the 2021 event Orson said:
“I’m so excited to be an AVUK Loud Shirt Day Ambassador. We had a great time last year and I’m happy that we raised money to help other deaf children learn to speak.”
Last year Orson – who now attends The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys School – was joined by his younger sister Mei, Mum, Dad and Grandad who took on a week of challenges for Loud Shirt Day. Focusing on the number 6,825 which is the annual cost of the AVUK programme.
- Orson cycled for 6,825 seconds – an hour and 53 mins – over six days; remembered as many six and eight timetables in 68 seconds; wrote a story that included the number six and eight, read eight chapters of a book and stood on one foot for 68 seconds.
- Mei scootered for 6,825 seconds over six days, completed six puzzles over six days, told her family a six-page story and recognised six letters and numbers each day.
- Dad Martin did six HIIT classes over six days, 68 press-ups a day and drew eight caricatures.
- Avril walked 6,825 steps every day; ran for 6,825 seconds over six days and held a plank for 68 seconds every day.
- Grandad John also ran for 6,825 seconds over six days.
Inspired by Orson and his family Mulberry House School which was attended by both Orson and Mei also took part in #LoudShirtDay.
Orson showed his classmates how to make tie-dye T-shirts and also talked about his hearing loss. He said:
“Everyone at school just accepted that I was deaf but I wanted them to understand a bit more about what it was like and how we could help more deaf children. It was such fun at school having our own Loud Shirt Day and I loved completing all our family challenges.”
Auditory Verbal UK’s family-centred, early intervention programme helps deaf babies and young children to learn to listen and talk. The charity continued to provide its specialised programme throughout the pandemic moving all of its services to online and digital platforms. As the UK continues to open up AVUK is moving to a combination of face-to-face sessions at its London and Oxfordshire centres and online sessions to ensure that families already on its programme can still access vital support and new families don’t delay in helping their deaf children on the journey to listening and speaking on a par with hearing peers.
Specially trained Auditory Verbal therapists use play-based parent coaching techniques to enable families to turn everyday activities into ways to improve their child’s communication skills.
Orson was fitted with hearing aids at 18-months-old and after finding out about Auditory Verbal UK Orson started sessions with the Bermondsey based charity when he was two year’s old and graduated two and a half years later a year ahead on the Preschool Language Scales assessment.
Mum Avril explained:
“For a young boy who cannot hear the sound of a bike bell, birds singing and the doorbell ringing without his hearing aids it was an incredible achievement.
“We wanted Orson to be a kind and confident boy, who has the resilience to overcome setbacks, who understands his hearing loss and is able to communicate his needs to his friends, teachers and family. Most importantly we wanted to equip him with the skills and knowledge that he can achieve whatever he wants in life as his hearing loss will never hold him back.”
You can sign up to take part in #LoudShirtDay now – let your imagination go wild getting LOUD to create a sound future for deaf children. Individuals, sports teams, businesses, schools even pets can get involved.
For more information, please visit: https://www.avuk.org/loud-shirt-day-uk.