Are you getting your child ready for the upcoming school year? Whether it will take place in a physical classroom or online, if your child has hearing loss, now is a good time to help them transition into a new classroom, school, or online course. Hopefully, under these new circumstances, we've learned that it’s always good to be prepared for what life throws at you.
Before Heading Back to Class
First, check and make sure your child’s hearing aids are functioning properly. Get adjustments, cleanings, supplies, or repairs done prior to their first day of school.
Talk to school staff members to make sure your child can fully participate in class:
Essential Hearing Aid Supplies
Along with school supplies, here are some other things to add in your child’s backpack:
Let Your Child become Familiar with Their New Hearing Aids
If this is your child’s first time wearing hearing aids, educate them on the importance of using hearing aids especially in school. Children with hearing loss are more likely to struggle with their development in speech and language, which is the basis of all education. Ask your child’s teachers to keep an eye on whether your child is wearing their hearing aid at school.
Children and teens may be unwilling to wear their hearing aids, for fear of embarrassment among their peers. Teachers should be aware of this.
A School’s Duty to Your Child
If your child has a 504 plan or an IEP, it’s the school’s responsibility to verify that the hearing aids are properly working. Schools are held accountable for making sure that teachers are trained to help the students when necessary.
In order to help your child, their teachers should be able to check and make sure the hearing devices are working during school hours. There are many different types of testing equipment that is available. Talk to your hearing healthcare provider to find out what would work best for your child. Teachers should also learn how to change batteries for hearing aids or sound processors if your child is too young or cannot do it themself.
Using Assistive Listening Devices
An assistive listening device must be provided by the school at no additional charge to the family if the student is part of the 504 or IEP plan. Here are some assistive listening devices that can be used:
Participating in Extracurricular Activities
Your child should be given the opportunity to carry out a normal life with their hearing aids. Encourage them to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities that they would like to enjoy.
Use a sport loop, splash guard and drying container. Discuss your child’s hearing loss and ask them to help your child care for their hearing aids, if necessary.
Dealing with Teasing or Bullying
Your child may be sensitive about their hearing loss and very self-conscious about their hearing aids being seen or stared at by peers. Ask teachers to observe any bullying from other students.
If there is bullying, set up a meeting with the bully’s parents. They might not be aware that their child is misbehaving. They may have a family member with hearing loss, and the child might not know it. If a loved one has the same condition, it will hopefully change their attitude.
With the student’s permission, break the ice and discuss their hearing loss with the class. Find a book to read, that illustrates a positive message for children with hearing loss.
A new school can be scary for a child. There are expectations from teachers and peer pressure from students. Hearing loss while learning and interacting with others is just another thing to be concerned about. Parents and teachers need to work together to facilitate that transition into the classroom.
If you, or a loved one, would be interested in a free hearing test and hearing aid trial, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a consultation.
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