Support for Parents of Children With Hearing Loss
Under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children with hearing loss are entitled to help and education from the time they are born and throughout their school years. Early help can teach your child to communicate through speech or signing, or a combination of both.
If your child needs ongoing help in school, work with your school administrators to make sure he or she gets it. As your child grows, it's likely that his or her education program will need readjusting. So you will need to stay involved to ensure your child gets the help he or she needs.
Early treatment and support from you increase the chances that children with hearing loss will learn to communicate and to participate in school and other activities. This is especially true in children who use cochlear implants. Children with cochlear implants who have supportive parents show better performance than children with less supportive parents. The same is true for children who use hearing aids.
Here are a few things you can do to help your child -- and yourself:
Educate yourself. Web sites, as well as government and nonprofit groups, can help you keep up with the latest developments and research.
Communicate. Seek out support groups and online chat communities for parents of children with hearing loss. These groups can provide information and a sense of community.
Stay in touch with your child. Some children with hearing loss feel socially isolated. But early treatment and the use of hearing aids can reduce the chances of social isolation.
Take care of yourself and your other relationships. Getting help for children with hearing loss can take all of your time. But don't neglect your own well-being or other relationships. Make time for your spouse or partner, stay in touch with friends, and do things you enjoy.