How Hearing Aids Can Help Your Child
Hearing aids can help your child hear. Hearing aids work by making sound louder (amplifying it). Hearing aids can be worn at any age. In fact, a child as young as 4 weeks old can be fit with hearing aids. Talk to your child’s audiologist about getting hearing aids for your child.
Hearing and your child’s development
Hearing plays a large role in your child’s development. How your child learns, speaks, and understands language depends on his or her ability to hear. That’s why it’s important to help your child make the most of the hearing that he or she has.
What hearing aids can do
Hearing aids can help your child:
Hear and understand speech better in many situations.
Hear certain speech sounds more clearly.
Better locate where sounds are coming from.
Be more aware of sounds for safety reasons. An example is to hear a car coming.
Hearing aids help your child develop his or her language and speech skills. They also help make communicating and socializing easier. But what hearing aids can’t do is fully restore normal hearing. Keep in mind that your child may need to use other methods to hear and communicate. These can include assistive listening devices and lip reading (speech reading).
Paying for hearing aids
Public or government programs may cover the cost of hearing aids. For instance, Medicaid can give assistance to financially qualified families. If you are worried about how you will pay for your child’s hearing aids, talk to your child’s health care team. They can help point you in the right direction. Hearing aids should never be bought over the Internet or through mail order.
Online resources you may find helpful include:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, www.asha.org/public/
American Academy of Audiology, www.howsyourhearing.org
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, www.agbell.org
My Baby's Hearing, www.babyhearing.org
Hands & Voices, www.handsandvoices.org
John Tracy Clinic, www.jtc.org