The First Steps
Has your child been recently diagnosed with hearing loss? The first few weeks after a diagnosis can be overwhelming. There is a lot to learn, but know that there are caring, experienced and knowledgeable professionals ready to help you with all of your questions. There are also many other families who have gone through this same experience and are willing to share their advice.
Here are some suggestions for things you can do immediately to start helping your child. Please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail us. DePaul School professionals are happy to answer your questions, help you find the information you need or just talk. Whatever you’re looking for, we are here to help.
What You Can Do Now
•Laugh, sing, talk, read to and play with your child. Your child needs more experience with sound – not less. Make a lot of noise. Have fun together. Try not to worry too much, enjoy being together and get to know each other.
•Talk to your pediatrician or audiologist about hearing aids for your child sooner rather than later. Children can be fit comfortably with hearing aids by three months of age, some sooner, but it is a process that takes a while, so get started soon. You will want to find an audiologist who has had a lot of experience with working with infants and their families. Newborns are ready to learn from the voices and sounds they hear in their environment. The sooner your child can gain access to sound, the sooner his or her language learning can begin!
•Ask a lot of questions. Ask your child’s doctors about their experience with pediatric hearing loss. Ask the audiologist who tests your child’s hearing about options in hearing technologies and why they recommend a particular solution for your child. When you’re choosing a program for your child, ask about literacy rates, where graduates go and for references to other families. Answers to these questions will help you make a good choice for your child and family.
•Become an advocate for your child. There are many different approaches and ways to manage a hearing loss and educate children who are deaf and hard of hearing. You’ll want to make choices about the direction that’s right for your child and your family. You may also need to stand firm in your own beliefs about what you want, rather than accepting what’s offered.
•Get educated. There is a lot to know about hearing technologies, schooling options, your rights under the law and more. Fortunately, there are also a lot of organizations ready to help you find the information you need. You can learn a lot on our website, but if there is a question you have that isn’t answered here, please contact us.
If you want to learn more about Listening and Spoken Language education (which means teaching your child to listen and speak without using sign language), contact us. Our professionals have the knowledge and expertise needed to help you navigate your options and move forward in the direction that’s right for your child.