Children with hearing difficulties have problems understanding or hearing sounds. They can also have problems with learning. The hearing loss can be unilateral (one ear) or bilateral (both ears).
Parents, teachers, and healthcare providers should work together to help children understand their situation and get the proper support and tools. Beware that different strategies may work for different children.
Here are the different ways how you can assist children with hearing difficulties:
Create a Good Listening Environment at Home or School
At home, you have to move close to your child. Then, ensure that both of you are away from noises before speaking, such as a heater, window, doors, stereo, television, or dishwasher. Does your child hear better with one ear? If yes, ensure that your child is closer to your before speaking.
When at school, ensure that your child sits close to where the teacher is and away from different noise sources, including pencil sharpener, trash, heater, door, or window. Your child should be close to the teacher if they can hear better with one ear.
Use Different Techniques to Improve Children’s Attention and Understanding
You should get the child’s attention before taking, starting new activities, or giving instructions. You can try calling their name, using a word or signal you both agree on, flicking lights, or touching their shoulder.
You have to show the child who is talking and rephrase or repeat what they say. You can use different words they can easily understand rather than repeating the same statement or question. Only give them what they need to know by chunking the instructions into small pieces when giving them instructions.
Consider the Use of Hearing Assistance Technology
Your child can use a hearing aid in different ways at home or in a classroom setting. You or their teachers can wear a microphone that directly emits a signal to the device, amplifying your or the teacher’s voice.
If you have amplified a sound field system across a room at home or in school, you should also wear a microphone. This technology increases the measurement of how much louder your voice is than the background sound, known as the speech-to-noise decibel ratio.
Use Visual Cues
You need to face your child and speak slowly and clearly. Ensure that you are standing still when talking. You should keep objects, such as books, hands, pens, or gum away from your face when talking.
Furthermore, you can encourage your child to watch the speaker’s facial expressions. You must ensure that the room lighting shines on the speaker’s face to prevent glaring behind them.
If you address the special needs and provide the necessary support, you can help children with hearing difficulties communicate better with their environment. They also feel more motivated to express themselves and develop a sense of belonging.