Children whose family members read to them on a regular basis, have a closer relationship with those family members. They also perform better academically, establish better communication and logical thinking skills, and are more disciplined and focused.
Reading diverse story lines is a good way to teach children about those who are different from them, in addition to being inclusive and creating some lessons about empathy. It could be a good idea to own or borrow books about hearing loss, so that your children - no matter what they’re hearing levels are - can learn and celebrate other people’s differences.
Children’s Books on Hearing for Ages 4-8
Read to your kids at this age for a great start towards academic excellence. Here are some suggestions for preschool-aged and young children:
"A Button in her Ear" by Ada Basset Litchfield: This book tells the story of a young girl, whose hearing loss was identified and treated with hearing aids. Audiences who have normal hearing can learn about hearing loss, and any audience members who have hearing loss will be able to relate with the main character. This book was originally published over forty years ago, so remember that modern hearing aids look very different from the devices featured in this book.
"A Birthday For Ben" by Kate Gaynor: A birthday party for a boy named Ben helps to demonstrate the difficulties of hearing loss, but also shows the ways that we are all the same. This is a great book to teach kids about sympathy and being inclusive.
"Cosmo Get an Ear" by Gary Clemente: This is an interactive book that was written from a child’s perspective. It tells the story of a child’s hearing loss journey to getting his hearing aid. The audience can interact with the book by responding to multiple-choice questions, and learn about the benefits of wearing hearing aids, as well as how to care for the devices.
"Dad and Me in the Morning" by Patricia Lakin: This book can be enjoyed by adults and children with any level of hearing abilities. It’s the story of a dad’s relationship with his son who is deaf. Readers will discover how they are able to communicate with one another. The book offers a good introduction to American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf culture.
Children’s Books on Hearing for Ages 9-12
Older kids can also benefit from being read to. Children read at different levels than they listen. They may be more willing to learn lessons from books, instead of hearing the lessons from their parent(s)/guardian. Reading to kids at these ages will boost their vocabulary, their sense of security and place in society, and creates a better bond between you and your child. Here are some suggestions for pre-teens:
"Addy's Race" by Debby Waldman: This book tells the story of Addy, who wore hearing aids throughout most of her life. She realizes that she has a hidden talent, which shows her that she is not entirely characterized by her hearing loss.
"Cheshire Moon" by Nancy Butts: More mature audiences will enjoy this story about Miranda, a deaf girl who learns how to trust a new friend after her cousin, Timothy, is lost at sea. It’s suspenseful and captivating as these two characters share a mysterious dream about Timothy.
“Jessi’s Secret Language” by Ann Matthews Martin: The main character, Jessi, learns sign language from Matt, a little boy whom she babysits. She decides to introduce sign language to other children who are interested.
“Rally Caps” by Stephen J. and Jodi Michelle Cutler: 10-year-old Jordan, becomes injured in an accident, and has difficulty playing baseball, his favorite sport. He meets Luca, a deaf boy who wears cochlear implants, who motivates Jordan to push himself to achieve his goals.
Teenager’s Books on Hearing for Ages 13-19
When you read together as a family, teens will likely go off on their own to read. It’s during these ages when reading enhances a child’s vocabulary and writing skills. It guides them through complex life issues, deepens their imagination and raises their chances of academic achievement.
“A Season of Change” by Lois L.R. Hodge: This tells the story of a 13-year-old girl named Biney, who has hearing loss. She helps a friend who is going through a very tough time. This challenging situation helps her to prove to everyone that she can handle adult situations.
Hearing Our Way Magazine: This is a magazine for children and teens who have hearing loss. It gives them a chance to connect with others who experience the same problems and challenges. Resources are also available for parents and teachers.
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.