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5 Ways to Help Your Child With Hearing Loss

3. Find Support for Yourself

It’s easier to help your child if you have support, too.

"Coping with hearing loss is a lot to handle at first, so families need extra emotional support," says K. Todd Houston, PhD. He’s an associate professor of speech-language pathology at the University of Akron.

Some parents find counseling helpful. Others turn to support groups. They let you connect with other families who are dealing with hearing loss. There are many online communities, or you can ask your doctor about groups in your community. The Alexander Graham Bell Association has a listing of chapters on its web site and offers outings and conferences for families.

"Many parents really enjoy the shared experience and validation of a support group," says Houston.

4. Explore Sounds With Your Child

Hearing sounds and speech from an early age will help your child develop language. Find simple ways to add sounds to their day:

  • Play games with your baby that teach imitation, like peekaboo, pat-a-cake, and the itsy-bitsy spider. These games teach your baby about taking turns when talking.
  • 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 child gets older, ask him to point to the pictures as you name them. Or ask your child to name the pictures.
  • Sing songs together.

5. Speak Up for Your Child

You know what's best for your child. If something in your plan isn’t working, let your team know. They should work with you to meet the goals you’ve set for your child. And if not, look for providers who will.

"Being involved with your child’s care is one of the best things you can do to help your child succeed," says Houston. "So don’t be afraid to fight for what your child needs, and to ask lots of questions along the way."

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Reviewed on January 23, 2014

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