Some children who have a permanent or long term hearing loss will not require or benefit from personal amplification. If your child does not wear a hearing aid there are other things you can do to help manage their hearing needs.
All children can benefit from good communication strategies. For example:
A soundfield system is used in the classroom to ensure the teacher's voice is equally loud in all parts of the classroom. The teacher wears a microphone that transmits their voice to an amplifier and loudspeaker system. This helps to overcome the listening difficulties caused by distance from the teacher, background noise or soft voices.
Soundfield systems are purchased by schools or individuals and some funding support options may be available in your area. Your audiologist will be able to provide you with more information.
Watch for signs of conductive hearing loss. Most children experience some periods of temporary hearing loss related to cold, flu and ear infections while they are growing up. If a child already has a mild or unilateral hearing loss, this temporary dip may have quite a big impact on their hearing and speech and language development. You can reduce the impact by early follow up of signs of conductive hearing loss.
If you think your child may have Otitis Media, contact your family doctor.
Some children's hearing may get worse over time. Your audiologist will have discussed with you when your child should return for reassessment. Until that time you can watch for warning signs that your child's hearing may have changed.
Watch for signs of hearing difficulties such as:
If you think your child's responses to sound have changed, follow this up with your audiologist.
As your child grows ensure that they are not exposed to very loud noise unnecessarily. Encourage your child to use hearing protection when necessary, eg: mowing the lawn or working with loud machinery. Try to avoid excessive use of personal stereos on high volume settings.
Learning to communicate is a step-by-step process. While children develop individually, there is a general pattern to speech development.
|Age:||Sounds produced clearly|
|3 years||p, b, m, w, t, d,
n, k, g, h, y
|4 ½ years||s, z, sh, ch, l, j, f|
|8 ½ years||
v, th, r, blends(e.g. tr, pl)
It is normal for children to make mistakes when they begin to talk. This may involve substituting sounds, leaving sounds out or mixing up the order of sounds in words. In early years, some speech may still be unclear as not all speech sounds have been fully mastered. At any age, speech may become less clear if they are tired, unwell or excited.
If you are concerned about your child's speech and language development, seek advice from a speech pathologist.
Further information about children's speech and language development can be found at www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au. This website can also help you to locate a speech pathologist in your area.
Your child's hearing loss may begin to cause difficulties, as schooling becomes more challenging.
Make sure that your child's teacher is aware of the hearing loss. Encourage them to let you know if they think the hearing loss is affecting your child's performance in class.
Children's needs and attitudes towards their hearing loss can change over time. Technology is changing rapidly and providing options that were not available in the past. As a result you may wish to review your decision about personal amplification at some stage in the future. This is not a problem. Contact your audiologist, who will be able to provide you with the latest advice and help you to plan for the next stage of your child's development.
If you or your child's teacher is concerned that the hearing loss is affecting your child at school, contact your audiologist.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is not intended as a substitute for independent professional advice.
15-Nov-2015 8:19 PM (AEST)