If your child has hearing loss, it can be difficult to know what to do. Luckily, there are more options today than ever before for helping people of all ages deal with hearing loss. With the help of one or more of these new technologies, your child can have a life that is just as good as a child that has normal hearing.
A hearing aid is a small device that is placed in a person's ear. The device, which comes in many different styles, will amplify the sounds around your child so that he or she can hear them better. Hearing aids can be used in just one ear or in both ears, depending on your child's level of hearing loss. Because hearing aids merely amplify a sound instead of actually fixing any part of the ear that is not working correctly, they cannot be used for profound deafness.
If a person is profoundly deaf enough that a hearing aid's amplification isn't enough to help his or her hearing, then a cochlear implant is a more advanced option. Cochlear implants are designed to stimulate the auditory nerve, allowing sounds to bypass the damaged portions of the ear. While cochlear implants produce a sound that is a little more mechanical than the sounds most people hear, it can be a great help for hearing-impaired children to interact with the world.
Have you ever used the captions on your television because you were having trouble hearing? Those captions can be a lot of help for your child with hearing loss. Most television stations and DVDs have closed captioning that you can turn on to help your child enjoy any media you are watching with you. There are even many movie theaters that offer closed captioning devices that your child can use to read the dialogue happening on the main screen. Your child does not have to miss out on the latest movie crazes just because he or she is hearing-impaired!
As your child grows older, he or she might want a cell phone. Obviously, your child can text without ever worrying about having to hear. If he or she wants to talk on the phone, though, it can be a little more difficult. Luckily, there are options available that can help him or her.
Telecommunications relay is a free service that uses operators to help a hearing-impaired person and a non-hearing impaired person speak to each other. The operators can type out speech to help your child understand what the other person is saying. You can also purchase a telephone that automatically captions everything that the other person says, allowing your child to never miss a word.
Listening Training Programs
If your child is struggling to learn to hear better, listening training programs can be a big help. These programs are kind of like games that help your child train him or herself to pick up sounds more effectively. You can find programs of all different types for this purpose, including both online and downloadable programs. Some of them are free, while others may cost a set amount or require a monthly subscription. If you find one that works for your child, though, the price can be well-worth it.
While being hearing-impaired might never be easy, children with hearing loss are fortunate to have been born in this generation. More and more technologies are being developed to help people with hearing loss adapt to the noisy world. By the time your child has children of his or her own, who knows what new technology will exist?