Hearing Impairment and your child

Hearing impairments are difficult. Here's how to help!

What do I check for to see if my child has a hearing impairment?

Usually before your child is sent home after being born the doctors perform screenings on your child. One being the AABR screening and the other being the OAE screening.
  • The AABR screening involves testing your child's brain wave reactions to clicking noises
  • The OAE screening involves testing your child's ear's response to sound waves
If those tests are successful then your child will be sent home. However, you ask, " What if my child develops a hearing problem later in their life? How do I know?"

Here are some symptoms your child might have if they are experiencing hearing loss:

  • If you notice that they are telling you to turn up the television or radio frequently and to extreme levels
  • If they are asking you or their peers to repeat what they said or to speak louder
  • They are having difficulty understanding words against background noises
  • Withdraw from conversations

Websites on screening and symptoms of hearing loss:

What causes my child to develop a hearing impairment?

If your child was born with a hearing impairment it is more than likely that during development the inner ear drum was not fully developed, there was an abnormal one growth that occurred, or it was damaged in the womb. During later years children can lose their hearing due to many things.

Such as:

  • A tumor that has formed
  • Build up of ear wax
  • A ruptured Eardrum
  • An ear infection
  • Any damage to the inner ear

Also, your child could lose hearing due to the following:

  • Aging
  • Heredity
  • Some medications (such as gentamicin or any chemotherapy drugs)
  • Exposure to recreational and occupational noises (such as noises from an explosion or noises from your job at a construction sight

Website on what can cause hearing loss:

How do I treat my child for this impairment?

If you notice that your child is developing a hearing impairment it would be recommended that you take them to the doctor.

Some things that you should expect the doctor to do at their appointment is:

Not all doctors are the same but you can expect to see at least one of these tests done on your child, if not more.

A child can be treated for a hearing impairment in many ways, because not all children are the same.

Here are some ways that your child can be treated:

  • If the doctor finds that the only reason they can not hear well because of a blockage then the doctor will just remove that blockage
  • Surgical procedures, if needed (such as getting tubes put in)
  • Hearing aids
  • Cochlear Implant ( click here for more on the Cochlear Implant )

Moral support and Helping your child cope

Having a hearing impairment and being different from other children is hard enough, but if you are not supportive or understanding your child could easily spiral in to a dark place. It is necessary to stand by your child as they cope with this impairment and give them as much love and support as needed.

One of the main things that will help your child with coping is informing their school and teacher. Children spend most of their lives in school and to make the child more comfortable in class will make them more comfortable in life. There are teachers that are specialized in helping children with hearing impairments and if you tell the school about your child's impairment they will set them up with that teacher.

Getting your child help will not only benefit their hearing but their life as a whole. They will feel more self-confident, build closer relationships, improve their outlook on life, and lessen their depression. It is always good to remind your child that they are no different than other children and that everyone is special in their own ways. If your child does not improve in mood then it is suggested that you take them to get help on their emotional state.

Here are some websites for coping with hearing loss: