Posted on: 27 April 2018Share
Hearing aids are most often associated with the elderly, but people of all ages can struggle with hearing loss, even children. Some children respond well to having a hearing aid to assist them with the impairment, but adjusting to life with a hearing aid can sometimes be challenging for a child. Here are a few things parents can do to help their child adapt to using a hearing aid device.
Many parents are so excited for their child to be able to hear more effectively that they try too much too soon with a new hearing device. You have to realize that children who are not used to hearing loud sounds or even music may not like hearing those sounds at first. They will be foreign, scary, or strange. It takes time for the brain to adapt to new noises.
Therefore, start small with wearing the hearing aid. Wear it home first. Play soft music, read books together, and play outside. Then gradually expand to wearing it at friends homes, at play dates, and at the park. If your child is school aged, you might require wearing it during class time (which is quieter) but not during recess (which is louder).
After you've broken in the hearing aid and your child has gotten used to it, they still may not like wearing it. Some children may fear teasing, others may forget, and still others may simply dislike the way it feels. You can set boundaries of when wearing the hearing aid is expected and when it is optional. For example, at school, the hearing aid is expected. You might also expect your child to wear a hearing aid at church, when visiting a friend, or when taking a msuic lesson. But it might be optional for time at home before bed, or in the mornings before school. Your child might also get a free hour on the weekends.
Encourage Self Care
You can help your child adjust to life with a hearing aid by helping them to take ownership of the situation. They should be the ones to care for, clean, and replace or recharge the batteries in the their hearing aid. If your child is too young, still encourage them to help you until they are able to do it themselves.
Be Open to Change
Finally, be open to change. You might need to take a few trips to the audiologist to find a better fit for your child. Not all hearing aids fit and work the same way. It's worth trying a few different models to see which one your child likes the best.