Be Involved In Your Childs Hearing Development
I don’t know anything about hearing differences. How can I help my child that is deaf or hard of hearing?
As a parent, you will always be your child’s first teacher. No matter how much time you spend in therapy, your child will always have more time at home with you. It will be important for you to commit to the communication option you want for your child and learn as much as you can, so you can help teach your child at home.
How can I help my child learn language?
Children learn a language best when it is used with them in meaningful ways. Back and forth conversational turns about things and activities that are meaningful and interesting to the child are important. Back and forth conversational turns let the child practice receiving and giving information. Back and forth conversational turns with an adult who uses a language well give children experience with that language and how that language is structured. Practice and experience allow children to learn new words and learn how to put those words together into sentences and stories.
Children learn the language or languages that are used with them and around them. A child whose family and community only use German will not suddenly begin speaking French. A child whose family and community use English and Spanish may learn both. Children learning two languages at one time will seem delayed in both languages until about age 7.
Who are the professionals who can support me and my child?
Children and families are more successful when they work with providers who have special knowledge and training. Some knowledge and skills are specific to the choice your family makes.
Families who choose American Sign Language (ASL) need good language models. Teachers and mentors who are native or fluent signers are important. Providers should be trained to teach parents, families, and young children the grammar and rules of visual language. Mentors who have been trained by the SKI-HI Deaf Mentor Program have these skills.
Families who choose Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) need to learn about hearing technology. Therapists who can work closely with a pediatric audiologist are important. Therapists should be trained to teach parents about learning language through listening. Therapists should also be trained to coach parents to focus on using hearing technology throughout the day. Certified Listening and Spoken Language therapists have these skills.
What support networks are available? Are there other families I can learn from?
A list of family support networks can be found on the Support page. These groups can link you with other families who have children who are deaf or hard of hearing. They can also link you with adult role models who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Visit our General FAQs section for additional support and guidance on how set your child with hearing loss up for success.