When a child gets hearing aids it is a big step that can be a difficult transition. Remembering to put them in, feeling confident around peers, and feeling pride in who they are can all be a new challenge for your child. Even with all of the resources available, it is important to take steps at home to empower your child.
Make an effort to get your child excited about her new hearing aids before she gets them. Talk about how much fun she’ll have when she can hear her friends or her favorite cartoons. Make hearing aids sound exciting and useful. Always answer your child’s hearing aid questions honestly, but be as positive as possible.
Choosing an audiologist who frequently works with children helps, as well. These specialists are practiced at performing hearing tests, making ear molds and performing other tasks in a way that won’t upset your little one.
Set a Schedule
At first, wearing hearing aids may feel foreign and uncomfortable. You child’s instinct will be to remove the offending item, especially if he is too young to understand why his hearing aid is important. To help him adjust, set a schedule and put the hearing aid on him at the same time every day. If he pulls it off, be gentle but firm about putting it back on.
If your child is old enough, negotiate a schedule that allows for breaks. You may, for example, agree that the hearing aid must stay on during school hours but may be removed for an hour or two after school.
Remember that your child has been hearing only a muted version of the world, even while in noisy places. She needs time to adjust to not only the feel of the hearing aid but to the sensory input it provides. Move slowly when getting her used to loud environments, as even quiet ones may seem loud to her. Start in a quiet place with minimal noises and work the child up to busier environments a bit at a time.
Remember Your Audiologist
Different children may encounter different obstacles when adjusting to a hearing aid. If yours is struggling and you’re unsure how best to help, call your audiologist. You probably never attempted to get a child to wear a hearing aid before, but your audiologist has, like Whisper Hearing Centers.
Don’t hesitate to turn to the professionals if you find yourself struggling. A hearing aid doesn’t help anyone if it isn’t worn, so use all of the resources available to you when helping your child adjust.
While getting your child used to her new hearing aid, remember to maintain a sense of normalcy. Keep your usual schedule and allow your child to do all of the things he normally does. Soon putting on the hearing aid will simply become part of the routine.
With a little patience and perseverance, your child will get so comfortable with his hearing aid that he will forget it’s even there.
What tips would you add to this? Leave in comments below so other parents can learn how to assist the transition.