Support for parents

We have found that being honest, open-minded and inquisitive is the most constructive way of handling hearing loss in the family. Do not hesitate to reach out for help and ask audiologists, teachers and other parents for information and guidance.

You are not alone

You are not the only parent of a child with hearing loss.

There are many other parents who are on a similar journey and share your experience. They can inspire and motivate you or simply listen to the worries you might have. Search the internet for online discussion forums or local parent communities. Speaking with other parents of children with hearing loss can provide you with strong support and real-life information as you look for ways to support your child. And remember that your child will benefit from meeting other children with hearing loss too.

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Involve grandparents and siblings

The majority of children with hearing loss are born into families in which the child is the only, or one of only a few relatives with hearing difficulties. Both grandparents and siblings must learn the most appropriate ways to communicate with your child.

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Questions to ask the hearing care professional

Your child will need frequent visits to the hearing care centre. Use the time to ask questions of the hearing care professional. Below you will find some suggestions. 

Remember that once your child has obtained language, allow them to reflect upon their own experiences, feelings and needs during these visits. They are the experts on themselves, and taking responsibilities with regards to their hearing loss is important for their willingness to wear hearing aids.

  • What sounds can my child actually hear? Will it change or get worse?

  • Will my child learn to speak?

  • How long will my child have to wear the hearing aids?

  • Will my child be able to go to an ordinary school?

  • My child reacts very strongly sometimes. Is this because of the hearing loss, or is it just a passing phase?

  • How often should my child’s hearing be tested?

  • Where can I get help to pay for the hearing aids?

  • What do I do if my child loses the hearing aids?

  • How do I cooperate with teachers and instructors at school or sports club? What can I expect from them and what do they need from me?

  • My child seems very withdrawn right now - can this have anything to do with hearing loss?

Communication techniques

Ask your hearing care professional if any of these techniques or therapies are relevant in your case.

Lip-reading
Lips show the articulation of words, e.g. “man” versus “land”. That is why lip-reading is important, especially for children with hearing loss, because they sometimes need to see in order to fully understand. In this way, lip-reading supports spoken speech.

Speech and language therapy
Hearing loss can make it difficult to hear the subtle differences in speech sounds needed to accurately produce them. Many sounds cannot be distinguished by lip-reading alone. A speech and language therapist can help your child to communicate more effectively.

Clear speech
This method is a simple way of speaking, which makes it easier for people with impaired hearing to understand, even in noisy situations. The method is easy to learn and use and is basically about pronouncing every word and sentence in a precise way – without dropping word endings.

Cued speech
This technique is designed to supplement spoken language. First you learn where in the mouth particular sounds are formed. Then you learn to link these sounds to certain signs, to support the spoken words. With special training, you and the rest of the family can learn this method and help your child develop their speech and language skills.

Sign language
Children with profound or total hearing loss often use sign language supported by auditory and visual cues. Children with profound hearing loss can often learn to use sign language and talk simultaneously. If you decide to learn sign language, the entire family should become actively involved.

See our 3 rules for clear communication

Download communications strategies