Step By Step

1. Get your child's hearing evaluated by an audiologist as soon as possible. With young children, remember that it may take more than one visit to get enough information. The audiologist needs to confirm the hearing loss and also determine the degree and type of hearing loss.

2. Your child will then be fitted with hearing aids. Even if he is a candidate for a cochlear implant, it is important for him to use hearing aids until he gets his implant.

3. Make sure that your child is using hearing aids soon as possible. Your audiologist will need to make ear mold impressions for your child which takes about 10-15 minutes. This doesn’t hurt your child’s ears. Once the audiologist has the ear molds, hearing aids will be fitted and adjusted for your child’s hearing loss. Do not delay this step. There is no time to be lost! (Additional information on hearing aids and cochlear implants is available in the Technical School.)

4. You will need to choose a mode of communication for your child. This means deciding whether you want your child to listen and talk or use some form of sign language. This decision will affect many of things you do from this point onwards. This website is designed to help families who have chosen to teach their child listen and talk without using any sign language. It is important for you to know all the options, though many of them may not be available where you live. The Technical School explains briefly each communication option.

5. Find out what services and professionals are available in your area. Your audiologist or doctor may be able to guide you in this search. If possible, try to find a professional who specializes in teaching children with hearing loss to listen and talk. This site will help you get started, and your child can make significant progress even if you do not have regular access to a qualified professional.

7. The main thing is to get started as soon as your child gets his hearing aids. Once a child has received hearing aids or a cochlear implant, he needs to be taught that the sounds he hears mean something. If we delay this crucial first step, your child may develop bad listening habits and start to tune out the sounds he hears as so much meaningless noise. It is hard work thereafter to unlearn this bad habit.

8. Remember, as a parent, you are the key to your child's success. A child with hearing loss needs substantial amounts of your time and effort to be successful, irrespective of which mode of communication you choose. Don’t think you need to wait until he gets his implant or until he is older before you start to work with him at home.

9. Now that you have reached this point, visit the ParentGuide section to begin this program.

A translation of this web page contents is available as a .pdf file in Arabic Danish Serbian