What to do
Everyone in the family will experience the impact of hearing loss regardless of whether it occurs in a hearing family or a deaf family. One goal of any family is to adapt to the baby’s hearing loss in a positive way that “facilitates” communication. “Talk to Me” that is the message. Talk to me, talk with me, hear me, and communicate with me. As family members, we are eager to communicate to our children about the song of a bird, the vision of a sunrise, and the colors of a rainbow. We want to teach our children the words of nursery rhymes, the words of songs that we grew up with, and the words that describe our feelings.
As a parent, there are many emotions that you may experience. Some parents react with a feeling of sadness. Other parents accept the diagnosis without much emotion and are just ready to take the next step. Some parents are actually relieved or happy to find out the diagnosis of a hearing loss. Ultimately, parents will come to accept the diagnosis of hearing loss and chose to deal with it in a way that is comfortable and fitting to their unique lifestyles. If their initial choice doesn’t work, it can be changed based upon new information and their child’s needs.
How will a hearing loss affect my child?
When parents learn that their child has a hearing loss, dreams they have for their child may die, and expectations can change. Fear often replaces the anticipation of all our child can accomplish, and many parents grieve over what they perceive can never be. In time, most parents come to realize that many of these dreams can still be accomplished, despite the hearing loss.
Fortunately, your child is living in an age when technology and support offer many excellent options. There is every reason to be optimistic about what can be done to help your child reach his/her highest potential. Using the advanced technology and many resources available to the fullest will help make this happen.
To assure success as your child grows, you will want to create a careful learning environment and apply effective communication techniques to maximize learning and socialization to the benefit of your child's overall development. If you can move ahead taking positive steps, one at a time, your child will benefit and you will be able to look forward to a satisfying future.
Phonak acknowledges the permission and assistance of the following organizations for their expertise in this portion of our website:
- The Better Hearing Institute
- The Infant Hearing Guide