Socialising with a hearing loss
Source: Oticon Paediatrics
Socialising plays an important role in our lives. With good social skills we can build strong and rewarding relationships with other people.
Children begin to learn social skills early in life. They are constantly watching and imitating the actions of their parents, family and friends. When they get older they make social contact by playing with other children.
Children with hearing loss are most often able to interact socially on equal terms with children without hearing loss. Your child's ability to develop social skills will depend upon their age, degree of hearing loss, time of diagnosis, treatment, and of course, personality.
All children develop differently, and all parents worry about how to raise their children. As a parent of a child with a hearing loss, you may find this even more demanding. In most cases, however, parents will be able to expect the same of a child with a hearing loss as they would of a child of the same age without a hearing loss.
Since many children might have the perception that their hearing loss will disappear once they grow up, you might consider introducing them to some adults with hearing loss.
Many parents find it hard to maintain a balance between protecting and expecting. Some have a tendency to overprotect their children from the world around them. However, it is very important to prepare the child for the real world by setting a good example and making fair demands. Children need to become strong, independent, self-reliant adults - despite a physical impairment.
You should, of course, consider your own child's physical and mental capabilities before deciding how much to expect of him or her. One thing is certain; your child should not be excused from taking part in daily routines because of the hearing loss. Household chores such as tidying up, lending a hand in the kitchen and carrying out dinner plates help to develop your child's social skills. They need to know that they are part of a family, where everyone has a role to play.
They also need to understand the necessity of accepting the household rules – just like everyone else in the family. This will also make it easier for you to keep your own needs and the rest of your family's needs in focus.
Information provided by Oticon Paediatrics
Reproduced with permission.
Page reviewed: August 2009
Disclaimer: This website is for general information only and is not intended as a substitute for independent professional advice.