Summer is coming to a close and schools like Bennett Elementary have started back up for the year. As a parent, you want to do whatever you can to make sure your child can succeed this year. If your child wears hearing aids, know that there are several extra things you can do to help your child thrive in the classroom.
Connect With Their Teachers
If you can, find some time to talk with your child’s teacher, support staff, coaches and other school personnel they will have regular interaction with. This will allow you to:
- Discuss your child’s specific hearing loss needs.
- Work with their teacher to figure out how to maximize your child’s ability to hear well in the classroom, such as making sure they get a seat up in the front of the class.
- Show them how your child’s specific hearing aid model works. Especially if your child is young, it can be helpful for school staff to know how to troubleshoot the device or change batteries if needed.
- Keep an open line of communication between you and their teachers throughout the school year if any issues arise that could be related to your child’s hearing loss.
Put Together a Hearing Aid Kit
In addition to their actual hearing aids, it’s helpful that your child has the accessories they need to keep their device functioning and safe while in class. Make sure they have a hard-shell storage kit and include in it:
- Extra hearing aid batteries
- Accessories like adhesives, clips and hearing aid sleeves to keep their device safe when they are playing at recess or in gym class
- A soft dry cloth or soft-bristled brush to clean their hearing aid if it gets dirty while in class
- A notecard with basic information about the hearing aid as well as a few troubleshooting tips
- Fabric softener sheets that can be used to help discharge electricity from the hearing aid
Prepare Them to Answer Questions About Hearing Aids
Children, especially younger children, can be quite curious and prone to ask questions. Classmates may have questions about your child’s hearing aids that may make your child feel hurt or unsure if they aren’t expecting it. It can be helpful to explain that other kids might ask questions but that it’s OK and nothing to feel embarrassed by. Educate your child about their device so that they feel confident when answering any questions.
Stress the Importance of Wearing Their Hearing Aids in Class
Children don’t always do what they are told, even when it comes to wearing hearing aids. An observational study from 2015 found that out of 38 children with hearing aids, almost 24% of them were not wearing their devices in class.
Hearing aids not only make it easier for children with hearing loss to understand lessons and hear important information about assignments, but they also help when it comes to making friendships and connecting with others, as well.
Sit down with your child at the start of the school year and let them know how important it is that they consistently wear their hearing aids. You can also ask their teachers to let you know if your child stops wearing their device in class.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric hearing loss specialists, call Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic today.