Hearing aids make a difference
Every deaf child can benefit from hearing aids.
Neonatal Hearing screening has given us the opportunity to identify and fit hearing aids early so that deaf babies can learn language naturally alongside their hearing peers. Language is best developed through age appropriate play and interaction.
Hearing babies and children have access to the language of their home and community provided by those who interact and play with them – Babies and children with a hearing loss DO TOO!
Deaf children have a right to the hearing aids they need
Hearing aids give a child the opportunity to learn to listen; and listening is the way all children learn to talk.
Being able to talk is important. It is the passport to a world of experiences shared with family and friends. It is the way most people work and play together and share ideas and dreams.
All children should have the chance to learn to talk and to enjoy the sounds and voices around them. With hearing aids, a deaf child can share these things too.
Will he hear ‘normally’?
Even with the best hearing aids, a deaf child will never hear perfectly, but what he does hear can be full of meaning. A little hearing makes a lot of difference!
How do I get the right aids?
Getting the right aids for a deaf child needs careful assessment and expert prescription and support from the family, who can provide important information about listening in real life situations. At the clinic, the Audiologist will identify your child’s type of hearing loss and set up the hearing aids to the child’s prescription.
Key Points to support early hearing aid management
- Hearing aids should be fitted as soon as possible after the hearing loss is identified.
- Hearing aids should be worn throughout the day.
- If baby isn’t bringing things to their mouth then sleeping babies with hearing aids in will hear you and the sounds of the household as they sleep and this can be reassuring.
- As they stir and wake they can hear you and respond to your voice, calm in knowing you are near and that it is play time again.
- Ear-moulds need to be made regularly to ensure sound levels are maintained. Babies for the first 3 months often need weekly mould impressions taken.
- Listen to your child’s hearing aids each day so you know what they sound like and are working well
- When feeding baby you might find that you need to switch off the aid closest to you to avoid feedback, keeping the other aid on to hear your soothing voice at this very close time.
Your Teacher of the deaf should be able to give you advice on using the hearing aids and talking to your baby or child.