"CAN you hear the flutter of a butterfly's wing?" asks Joseph Morosini.
His mother, Liz, faintly whispers "no" in his ear, and he giggles.
The four-year-old was born with a genetic defect which prevents high-frequency sounds reaching his eardrum.
Joseph had his first hearing aid fitted at the age of seven weeks, and with the assistance of the Hear and Say clinic at Nambour can hear almost perfectly.
Yesterday he celebrated the launch of the annual Butterfly Appeal, which raises money for children with hearing impairments.
Mrs Morosini said the appeal had given Joseph the gift of speech.
"He is able to communicate, go to school and do everything a normal four-year-old should be able to do," Mrs Morosini said.
"It means he can live an independent life without support services because he was treated from such a young age."
Fundraisers will be held throughout March. Butterfly boxes filled with brooches, charms, bracelets and key tags will be at schools, workplaces and retail stores across the Coast.
Sunshine Coast Hear and Say representative Karen von Homeyer urged the community to get behind the appeal.
"We need more support," Mrs von Homeyer said.
"This appeal changes lives and gives our young people with hearing impairments the best chance to be and do anything."
Visit www.butterflyappeal.com to support Hear and Say by ordering a merchandise box, or call 07 3870 2221.
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