According to the CDC, approximately one to three of every 1,000 babies is born with some degree of hearing loss. If your child or a child in your classroom has hearing loss, below are some tips to improve your communication with them.
Create a Good Listening Environment
At home, you can create a good listening environment by adding carpets and curtains, hanging lots of art on the walls and closing doors and windows. Additionally, you should move your child away from noisy appliances and electronics before you begin to speak with them.
At school, you can seat the child close to the teacher with their good ear facing you, as well as add rugs, acoustic ceiling tiles, bulletin boards and felt artwork.
Help Your Child Pay Attention & Understand
Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, you can do the following to help your child pay attention and understand:
- Get their attention before speaking by calling their name or touching their shoulder.
- When they misunderstand you, rephrase rather than repeat what you said.
- Talk into their good ear, if they have one.
- When giving instructions, chunk the info into short pieces and convey only the necessities.
Use Visual Cues
Visual cues are key when it comes to communicating with people who having hearing loss, whether adults or children. When talking to your child or a child in your class with hearing loss, face them directly, keeping objects away from your face and mouth. Be sure the lighting is adequate. At school, you can use visuals such as lists of expectations, vocabulary words, written instructions and visual demonstrations.
Watch for Signs of Frustration
It’s important to try to prevent your child from getting frustrated. To do this, you can encourage them to speak up when they cannot hear or understand and be patient while waiting for their responses. Children who are involved in activities like Seattle Youth Sports will have better social-emotional and speech-language outcomes. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a pediatric audiologist, call Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic today.