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Personal References

From Shirley Metherell

Founder and Chief Executive Officer,

The Elizabeth Foundation for Preschool Deaf Children


'Dear Parents,

If you are looking at this website, you are almost certainly parents of a deaf baby or pre-school child, looking for extra help, support and advice.

I remember very well when Elizabeth, my own profoundly deaf child was a baby/toddler, that we searched for people to help us.  We looked for someone both skilled and knowledgeable that could answer the many questions that we had about our child and about deafness in general.  Someone who understood the dilemma facing parents, when choosing a communication method but who was able to respect our decisions.  Someone who could show us, as parents, what we could do to help our daughter, and most of all someone who was able to work with our baby and ourselves, and tell us truthfully, by careful professional analysis and evaluation that we were on the right track, and that Elizabeth was making the correct and expected progress, with her listening, language and speech skills, as well as her general development.

If you also are looking for someone, then I have no hesitation in recommending Dr Helen Robinshaw to you.  In Helen, you will find an enthusastic advocate for you and your child.  Someone who believes passionately in using that all important 'window of opportunity' to develop language and listening skills, and someone who will always remember that parents are the most important people in their child's life, and that armed with the right knowledge and skills, that they will become their child's most important teachers.

Helen's in depth knoweldge enables her to track, record and evaluate children's progress, and set the necessary goals for the immediate future.  She has an excellent knowledge of The National Curriculum Foundation Stage, and Birth to Three Matters.

Helen's progress reports on children are the most detailed I've seen.  She is meticulous in her planning and preparation of lessons, and her delivery of the latter, indicates her ability to adjust to each child's individual needs.  Helen is always positive about even the smallest attempts to communicate, and will seize every opportunity to extend a child's language.

I wish Helen the very best success with her new venture, and I hope that you dear parents find the support that you are searching for.'

With all Best Wishes

Shirley Metherell

Founder and CEO

The Elizabeth Foundation



From Lucy Martin

Mother of Phoebe, who was aided for a bilateral profound hearing impairment at 10 weeks of age and who has visited Helen for the following two years.

Posted April 2009

Dear Parents

Our daughter Phoebe was diagnosed at 8 weeks with a severe/profound  hearing loss.  With no history of deafness in the family we were initially shell shocked, but very quickly began the daunting job of finding the best way to communicate with her.

With strong hearing aids, Phoebe, in theory could reach speech sounds and we felt that we wanted to pursue this option and give it a go!  We noticed early on that Phoebe would be dazzled by our new signing skills, but we were not confident that she was listening to us.  We questioned whether or not she would listen if there was too much going on visually.  After talking to our local team and searching the internet, I stumbled across a post on a forum from Helen Robinshaw and visited her website - and thank goodness I did!

Helen was a total breath of fresh air.  She had and still has high expectations for Phoebe and she gave us hope and the confidence to aim high.  Our local support was good, but their approach was based on waiting to see what Phoebe would lean towards, signing or speech.  With Helen's help, we didn't really give Phoebe an option but to listen!  We learnt about early techniques to develop a listening environment at home, in the car, at the park - in fact, everywhere!  Helen's approach is based around family life and routines, but focuses on learning to listen at a very early age.

We started visiting Helen when Phoebe was only a couple of months old.  We travel 2 hours each way from Leigh on Sea in Essex, to Hook in Hampshire but we feel that every minute and every penny we have spent has been totally worth it.  Phoebe has just turned two and at her last TOD developmental check, she had age appropriate language in both expressive and receptive language - so far so good! Phoebe was singing (well la la la-ing!) in her buggy in a shop the other day and lady commented that she has a typical little girls voice!

Helen's enthusiasm and passion never falters.  She is waiting for us in picturesque village surroundings with a cup of tea and home made cakes (which my husband looks forward to every visit!). She has been
extremely dedicated to us and we couldn't have done it without her support and encouragement.

We still go to our sing and sign classes as Phoebe clearly enjoys it.  We feel that we need to give her as many options in life as possible.  Language develops in the preschool years and Helen has the practical
and theoretical experience to ensure that we make the most of this window of opportunity.  Looking back at those early days after she was born, I could never have imagined that she would say 'night night, love
you' before bed time.  It is achievable!

We would whole heartedly recommend Helen to other parents and hope that our experience will help others.

With best wishes

Lucy Martin
and husband Nathan, son Oliver and daughter Phoebe


   From Helen Moye

   Mother of Peter, Robert and Charlotte,

   who were all diagnosed and fitted with hearing aids

    and personal FM systems within a year of each other.


Dear Helen

I’ve had a look at the website and it looks very comprehensive. I think you are a very special person with some very important skills and knowledge, which MUST be shared with those who could benefit them, and I sincerely hope you succeed with this venture.

Whenever I think of you I think back to the start of the journey that I’m

now sharing with Peter and Robert and reflect on how far we have now come. I can never know how much difference you have made to the boys successful start in the hearing world, but for me, you were there right when I needed you, when the future felt very uncertain. I will always be grateful for that support.

Peter and Robert continue to do extremely well in reception (I couldn’t have imagined being able to say that a year ago), they are both confident and believe themselves to be as capable (or better) than their peers! They both have excellent speech now (the speech therapist is about to discharge them), and vast vocabularies, and the confidence to ask if they don’t hear or don’t understand a word……which is an enormous help to them. A year ago Robert was still struggling to understand even a simple story…….he can now comprehend things as complicated as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, wow what an enormous leap. They have started French club out of school and Robert in particular has beautiful pronunciation, surely down to his excellent listening skills. I would love you to see them now to see what they have each become.

I know you will say that a lot of their success is down to me, but what great material I have to work with, and I did need your support and guidance. If you can give just a fraction of that to other families you will be doing a great job.