5 Ways to Help Your Child With Hearing Loss
3. Find Support for Yourself
It’s easier to help your child if you have help, too.
"Coping with hearing loss is a lot to handle at first, so families need extra emotional support," says K. Todd Houston, PhD, an associate professor of speech-language pathology at the University of Akron.
Some parents find counseling helpful. Others turn to support groups. Both let you connect with other families who are living with hearing loss. There are many online communities, or you can ask your doctor about groups in your area. The Alexander Graham Bell Association has a listing of chapters on its website and offers meet-ups and conferences for families.
"Many parents really enjoy the shared experience and validation of a support group," Houston says.
4. Explore Sounds With Your Child
Hearing sounds and speech from an early age will help your child learn language. Find simple ways to add them to the day:
Play games with your baby that teach imitation, like peekaboo, pat-a-cake, and the itsy bitsy spider. These teach your little one about taking turns when they talk with others.
Talk about the things you’re doing. For example, "We’re driving to grandma’s house," or "Daddy is washing the dishes."
Read to your child. Describe the pictures as you go. As your kid gets older, ask him to point to the pictures as you name them. Or ask him to name the pictures.
Sing songs together.
5. Speak Up for Your Child
You know what's best for her. If something in your plan isn’t working, let your care team know. They should work with you to meet the goals you’ve set. If not, look for specialists who will.
"Being involved with your child’s care is one of the best things you can do to help your child succeed," Houston says. "So don’t be afraid to fight for what your child needs and to ask lots of questions along the way."