Amplification for Children
For many parents, finding out that their child has been diagnosed with a hearing loss can be emotional, and even scary. Hearing aids are typically recommended if the child has a permanent hearing loss that can impact his/her speech, language, and learning development. Early, consistent use of hearing aids is important in order to obtain age-appropriate communication skills.
Why should children wear their hearing aids all the time?
Even in a quiet environment, there are sounds happening that are important to help further the maturation of the pathway from the ears up to the brain. When your child is consistently hearing everyday sounds that someone with normal hearing may take for granted – turning the pages of a book, or silverware hitting the plate – the brain learns more quickly how to process different types of incoming information. Further, a large majority of language is learned incidentally. By wearing hearing aids all the time, your child can hear conversations happening in the car, or model what their older siblings may be playing.
Children with hearing loss have been known to have poor speech quality, as they are producing speech similar to what they are hearing. With consistent hearing aid use, speech production may be made clearer and in turn, the child’s self-confidence may improve.
Children will experience less mental fatigue and less required listening effort by using hearing aids consistently in the classroom. Without steady access to auditory information, the brain must work even harder for the student to follow a lesson or participate in a group activity.
Parents are the most powerful role models for their children. If a child is not encouraged to wear their hearing aids consistently, he/she is learning that it is okay to not fully participate in conversations. If the impact of hearing loss is minimized, the child may pretend to hear and understand a conversation – even if he/she is struggling. If your child has usable hearing, the level of educational and social success achievable is directly related to the number of hours of daily hearing aid use.