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How to Raise a Child with Hearing Loss


Cochlear India for children with hearing impairmentThis article has been contributed by Cochlear India (http://www.cochlear.com/wps/wcm/connect/in/home). Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions with high-quality products that help implant recipients interact more fully with their world. After more than 25 years of ground breaking innovations, people at Cochlear continue to be passionate about helping people to hear.

Communication is a vital aspect of our life. Throughout our life, we meet a lot of people, we communicate with them, and we build relationships. This forms the backbone of our social life. But, communication isn’t just words; it’s also our hand gestures, facial expressions and body language and the way we use these to interact appropriately with others. People with hearing disabilities may have an overwhelming experience when they try to communicate.

The effects of hearing loss can be devastating for some parents. Especially, when their child can’t hear sounds around them or can’t even listen to their own voice. Diagnosing such impairments right from childhood is essential. It is during this stage that hearing aids are typically worn, which may provide access to important sounds that help in facilitating speech and language skills and therefore help to shape a child’s future. With the help of technology, new born children with hearing disabilities can be identified early. Getting suitable hearing loss treatments can be very helpful at a young age. For instance, Cochlear™ implants can prove to be useful for a child to develop speech and language skills if a hearing aid is providing limited sound input and benefit.

Early Intervention Can Help Your Child. Click here to learn more.

Language development in early childhood is important, but this could be difficult for a child with hearing disabilities. There are some guidelines that the parents could note while trying to communicate with their kids in order to help the child develop communication skills at an early stage.

  • Always face your child while communicating with them, the preferred distance is about 1-5 meters. Your child should be able to look at your face properly. Your face should be well lit, so that the child can make out your facial expressions and read your lips.
  • An error to avoid while interacting with your child is to speak while chewing food. If you say words while eating and chewing, this makes it difficult to read your lips, changes how the words will sound and increase the difficulty to understand what you’re saying.
  • Never lose eye contact with the child, don’t speak while reading a newspaper or covering your face. The child won’t understand anything and it will frustrate him/her intensely.
  • A very common mistake is for parents to shout words at their children who can’t hear properly. Avoid such behavior; talk at a normal volume and pace, not too loud and not too low. If your kid is finding it difficult to understand the sentence, then rephrase or provide some other clues such as hand gestures or other visual cues.
  • Elude background noises while communicating, turn off your television sets or radio, close all the windows to muffle any traffic noises. Move closer to your child (1-5 meters) and communicate, or find a much quieter room. This will help to optimize your speech over any background noise.

Follow these pointers to gift your hearing impaired child the joy of communication at a very young age.

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