This is a very personal topic for me because I am almost completely deaf, and only hear with the miraculous help of a cochlear implant. I was not born deaf, and no one in my family is deaf. As I look back now, I think I started to gradually lose my hearing when I was in my early thirties. I realized I wasn’t looking people in the eyes when I talked to them, but was watching their lips, and to this day, I am a really good lip reader! Eventually I started wearing hearing aids which certainly helped. However, as an elementary school teacher, I know I missed things going on behind my back, and because hearing aids amplify every little noise, when someone sharpened their pencil, it was REALLY REALLY LOUD for me. My hearing was getting so bad, that I didn’t think I would be able to teach school anymore. I noticed the looks on people’s faces when I responded to something they said and knew immediately that I mis-heard (or really guessed) what they said. I think sometimes, when a hearing-impaired person does that or fails to respond because they didn’t hear anything, people either think they are rude for not responding or not very smart because of what they said.
Thank goodness technology has advanced so much since those days! I was fortunate to qualify for a cochlear implant fifteen years ago, and my life and the lives of my family and close friends that were my “ears” has greatly improved! The latest upgrade I got just this year utilizes Bluetooth technology and at last, I can talk on the phone again! The new hearing aids also use the Bluetooth technology.
I know that in the USA, all newborns have their hearing tested before they ever leave the hospital, and will receive immediate intervention so they can develop their language as normally is possible. What about older children that for one reason or another develop hearing problems? How can you know if this is happening to your child? I urge you to take a look at some invaluable information and tips I found for you to read.
10 Signs Your Child May Have a Hearing Loss
A hearing loss may be harder to detect in an older child whose speech skills are already developed. If your child is a tween or teen, you may think they are tuning you out. Their teachers may also think that they are just not paying attention. Does he or she say “What” more often or speak in a loud voice? These are some of the signs of a possible hearing loss in your child. Click here to read more.
What Should You Do If You Suspect a Hearing Loss in Your Child?
If you suspect your child is having difficulty hearing, contact your pediatrician or family doctor. They will probably refer you to a specialist and hearing tests will be given. Most hearing losses can be treated with hearing aids and in some cases, cochlear implants. Click here to see the article from Hear It.
Local School or Specialized School?
In most cases, your child will be just fine in the local school, but it will require cooperation between the family, audiologist, teachers and other people who interact your child. You will want to visit the school, make sure it has good acoustics and possibly a FM or loop wiring system that can be used by the teacher to connect with hearing aids. It will definitely need to be a team effort between you and your family and the school. Check out what you should know about this subject by clicking here.
Please share any information or comments about this subject below. In the meantime, enjoy the birdsong around you!