Your child's hearing
Advocating for your child
Unilateral hearing loss
Parents want what is best for their children. They also understand the needs of their child and are the best people to speak up on behalf of their child to get the services and support they need. It is an unfortunate reality that the services and support you think would benefit your child, are not always be available for a child with UHL. As parents, you may need to go into bat for your child. And to do this effectively you will need to learn to advocate.
Advocacy is about speaking on behalf of your child to negotiate for services and support. The time where many parents with a child with UHL need to become effective advocates is when their child goes to school. But there will be many situations before school that your advocacy skills can benefit your baby. Finding early intervention and starting child care or preschool are all situations where you may need to negotiate for your child’s needs.
Being an advocate for our child is not always easy. You need to know what you want for your child. You need to be well-informed. You need to plan and prepare. You will need documentation to support your arguments. You need to negotiate - to be calm but assertive.
There are a few things you can do in preparation:
For more information
Disclaimer: This website is for general information only and is not intended as a substitute for independent professional advice.
Parents talk about advocating for their child
“Be an advocate for your child. Unfortunately we have to be 'pushy' at times so our children get what they are entitled to.” (Parent)
“Be the advocate for your child. Nobody else is going to know exactly what your child's needs are or how they are going to need support or help. Go about it in a friendly way and ask for help. Ask, 'what can you do for my child'. Quite often if you ask, help can be given.” (Parent)
Parents talk about their child speaking out
“He actually tells people that he is hearing impaired on the right side and can they talk on the left side.” (Parent)
“From an early age we encouraged her to tell people she couldn’t hear on her left side. She was always good at making sure she sat where she could hear properly. It made it a lot easier for everyone.” (Parent)