Approximately two out of every 1000 children are born with a hearing loss, and it can affect their development of important language and social skills. Having a child diagnosed with hearing loss can be a scary and overwhelming experience. We are here to help. This blog will help explain the importance of treating your child’s hearing loss and what to expect during this journey.
Getting the proper hearing aids for your child can be essential for your child’s quality of life and learning. The language centers of the brain begin to absorb and respond to different sounds from the time a child is in the womb and being able to hear speech is crucial to development. Appropriate hearing aids, although they will not completely restore normal hearing, will stimulate the auditory centers of the brain, helping children with hearing loss connect to the world of sound, and to make progress not only with speech, but also other language skills.
Your first step should be to speak with your pediatrician. You will then likely need to see an audiologist who specializes in kids and hearing aids. They will help you determine a treatment plan that meets your child’s unique needs.
Hearing aids designed for children are similar to hearing aids for adults. There are some major differences, though. Pediatric hearing aids are typically designed to be more durable and tamper resistant. They are great for curious and rough-and-tumble kids. There is also typically a wider range of styles and colors available to both meet the needs of the child, and for the child to be able to express themselves.
It can take time to adjust to wearing a hearing aid. It can even be upsetting at first. Consider introducing the hearing aid while doing something fun that the child enjoys. This will help associate the hearing aids with positive emotions and experiences. Start out by having your child wear the hearing aids for a short amount of time and gradually increase the amount of time until they are used to wearing it for a full day.
Your child’s hearing may change as they get older. This means your child will need to see an audiologist for regular testing and adjustments to their hearing aids. Continue to have a conversation with your audiologist about your child’s needs and their hearing treatment plan. This is important to ensure the best hearing possible.
Children may need help taking care of their hearing aids and establishing good habits. It is important to have a strong care routine. Check batteries regularly and always have backup batteries. Teach your child to keep the hearing aids dry and not to go underwater while wearing them. Clean the hearing aids regularly. These steps will prevent many problems over the life of the hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many children with hearing aids will face bullying while growing up. It is important to recognize bullying and deal with it. Create a safe space for your child to talk about any issues they are facing. Listen to and support your child.
Healthy self-esteem is a great defense against bullying. Introduce your child to fictional heroes that exhibit good self-esteem. Show them positive portrayals of kids with hearing aids being represented in the media.
If you know your child has a hearing loss, do not wait to get them fitted with hearing aids so they can learn and grow. To ensure that your child is not delayed in developing communication skills or struggling in social or academic development, contact us today and we will help you take the first step in your child’s hearing healthcare path.