Children that have physical abnormalities will always feel a little different from the other kids they play with. But parents need not worry because the other kids will be most curious as opposed to negative. Kids that have hearing loss from a young age, will be fitted for hearing aids and this can be something that makes them feel different too. Unlike the other children at school, your child will sometimes feel disoriented and unable to fully hear what someone else is saying. Hearing aids act like ears too, as they need to be pointed in certain directions to be most effective. There are certain dead spots for hearing aids which means from a particular angle, no sound is being absorbed and transmitted to your child. This is something parents worry about when their child is crossing the road, for example. Nonetheless, there are ways you can make your child feel completely normal and make their lack of hearing ability, nothing to worry about.
Be more visual
Human beings are visual creatures. Unlike any other animal in the world, we have the ability to sense movements, depth, distance, shapes, sizes and even weight, purely with our sight. So for children with hearing loss, being more visual with them in their daily life, will greatly help them understand, identify and understand the world around them. Imagine a world where you cannot hear the sound of a door shutting, you don’t know what a bird sounds like or even what footsteps sound like. It’s almost like being in a silent movie. You can see things moving, but they have no audio cues. Thus, being more familiar with the movement, how things should move or handle as pertaining to the material and size, is immensely important. Rather than making animal noises, work on facial expressions when you’re reading your child a bedtime story. Become more animated and play the roles of characters for them. As they grow up, they can assign movement to object, handling to material, size to weight, purely by visual acclimation.
Comfortable with the dark
Most children take out their hearing aids when they go to sleep. It’s perhaps the only time of day whereby they are vulnerable and perhaps feel a little unsafe. However, getting your child comfortable with the dark, right from an early age, is extremely helpful to their nerves. Normal children will feel scared of the dark, even though they can’t hear any ghouls or goblins outside of their bedroom window. Children without hearing can feel even more scared because they have no way of telling whether something they can’t see is near or far. Thus, it’s good to take your child on camping trips in the woods, allowing them to absorb the darkness and yet feel comfortable sleeping in it. Explaining to your child, that ghosts and nasty monsters don’t exist is another way to calm them and keep them from feeling vulnerable in their own bed.
Tricks for lasting longer
When a child can hear their hearing aid batteries begin to fade, they are immediately on alert. They know that their inability to hear the teacher and fellow classmates can make the lessons difficult to follow. Thus, finding the best hearing aid batteries and using them correctly to make sure they last and long as possible, is paramount for their general lifestyle. Don’t stock up on batteries as after a couple of years sitting in your cupboard, their power is diminished greatly. Always buy a fresh batch of batteries as and when you need them. Leaving the battery holder open when you’re not using the hearing aids. It’s advisable to switch them off and store them in a dry place with the battery door open. This prevents excess moisture from building and corrosion from settling in.
Inform them of their condition
Your child will want to know what is wrong with their ears and why they cannot hear like everybody else. This is something every parent with a child who has hearing loss, should be ready for. The more your child is informed about their condition, the more comfortable they will feel. On top of this, they will be ready to answer inquisitive classmates’ questions at school. This also helps them to fit in better, as the ice is broken and everyone can move on without a big question mark in the air.
Parents have a duty to prepare their children for life’s challenges. By being more visual with your child who has hearing loss, you’re accelerating the visual acclimation process. Thus, your child will be comfortable with objects around them even before they are fitted for a hearing aid.
*This is a contributed post. While Amber didn’t write it herself, she has approved it for you all 🙂