No matter how old you are, a hearing loss diagnosis can be stressful and even frightening. This is especially true for new parents whose child has been diagnosed with hearing loss; there is a lot of uncertainty involved. Fortunately, there are many who have gone before you, tons of programs and support groups available, and an audiologist that will walk with you every step of the way.
How Common Is Childhood Hearing Loss?
Data from the CDC indicates that approximately one to three out of every 1,000 babies is born with hearing loss.
While it’s unclear exactly how common hearing loss is across all pediatric age groups, a couple of nationally representative surveys help paint a picture.
- The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) from 1988-1994 found that 14.9% of children ages six to 19 in the U.S. have hearing loss of at least 16 decibels in one or both ears.
- The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 1997-2008 reported that 4.5 out of every 1,000 children ages three to 17 in the U.S. are deaf or have trouble hearing without a hearing aid.
It’s likely that the prevalence of hearing loss has risen in this population since these surveys were conducted in part thanks to the rise in popularity of headphone and earbud usage.
Accept Your Child’s Hearing Loss
When you have a child with hearing loss, it’s important to accept their condition in a way that you hope they will, too. It’s normal to feel concerned about your child’s future, worry that they won’t be able to make friends at Inspiration Playground and fear that they will have fewer opportunities than other kids. Many parents of kids with normal hearing feel the same way, too.
We recommend meeting up with other parents whose children have hearing loss, especially those whose kids are a bit older and ahead in the rehabilitation process. Knowing what to expect and how to handle new hurdles will help you feel more confident to provide your child with the support they need.
Empower Your Child
While your child will require accommodations in order to learn effective communication, like hearing aids, cochlear implants, sign language and/or speech-language therapy, it’s important to remember that your kid is also just like any other kid. It’s just as important that they learn to help out with family responsibilities, and that they’re allowed to take risks and encounter failures in order to grow and learn.
For more information about childhood hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Evergreen Speech & Hearing Inc today.