Why Scottish dancer Ava is a real-life Braveheart

Adamstown Heights Scottish highland dancer, Ava Tollard, 15 years, was among 36 highland dancers selected from across Australia, to perform with the OzScot Australia Team at the recent Basel Tattoo in Switzerland. Ava’s achievement is all the more impressive knowing that she has a severe hearing loss.

18 months ago

Ava’s family noticed that she wasn’t responding when they called her name. Even though Ava was still achieving academically at school, Ava’s teachers noticed there was a change in her attentiveness in the classroom.

Ava also noticed that she could not hear properly and thought that her ears were blocked. After a visit with her GP and her MRI results returned, Ava went to Australian Hearing in Kotara to get her hearing assessed. Sure enough, Ava was diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss in both ears.

Working with Australian Hearing

Ava and her family worked with Australian Hearing to devise the best hearing devices for Ava that fit in with her active lifestyle and Ava has never looked back. She has clocked up scores of Scottish Highland Dancing medals and trophies, travelled the world with the dancing team OzScot and is an assistant teacher at her sister Lara’s Dancing School at Marks Point.

Ava’s mother, Lee-Anne Tollard, says that early intervention is key to ensuring someone doesn’t miss out on sharing the important things in life:

“I knew Ava wasn’t quite herself, but couldn’t work out what it could be. I was shocked at first that my child had a hearing loss, but I am so relieved that I took action to ensure Ava didn’t miss out on what she enjoys in life.”

The Australian Hearing team ensured that, as a family, we understood what was happening and how to manage a hearing loss as seamlessly as possible. She is still my same Ava and I am immensely proud of her, Lee-Anne says.

Ava’s Australian Hearing audiologist, Geraldine Krynda, commented that many clients miss out on sharing important moments in their life due to their hearing loss and don’t realise the many solutions available to them.

Managing a hearing loss is important for sharing special moments and living a happy and healthy life and Ava’s family made the right decision to get her hearing checked quickly, she says.

That’s why we encourage people to make a hearing test part of their regular health check, and what better time to do this than during Hearing Awareness Week.

Power of Technology

Geraldine points out that many people today don’t realise that hearing technology is constantly evolving and improving.

Take hearing aids for example. There’s absolutely no comparison between today’s almost invisible hearing aids and their older counterparts. Losing your hearing doesn’t always lead to a hearing aid. Sometimes it’s just hearing the television, conversing on the phone or hearing the doorbell that’s the issue. There are many solutions other than hearing aids available to help improve your life, she says.

As an accomplished highland dancer, Ava continues to proudly wear her Purple McRae of Concra tartan, but prouder still, wears her Siemens Pure hearing devices from Australian Hearing.

Australian Hearing is the leading provider of hearing loss support services and devices. For more information on hearing loss for children we’re happy to chat.