As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, it can be heartbreaking to a mom to learn what she’s long suspected — that her adorable, perfect toddler has a hearing impairment, but it is a reality. Approximately two percent of all babies born in the US are born with a hearing impairment.
A hearing impairment in newborns can negatively impact speech and language development, according to the article, “Help for Parents of Children With Hearing Loss” as cited on WebMD. As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you want to minimize the impact a hearing impairment will have on your child’s development. Strategies to help your hearing-impaired child include diagnosis, communication choices and education.
Keeping in Touch
Your child may feel isolated because of her inability to hear and participate in daily events that are geared to the hearing world, according to WebMD. Educating yourself about various assistive technology tools and choosing those that work well with your particular child’s needs, help remove that sense of isolation. Depending on the cause and extent of your child’s hearing loss, surgically implanted tubes, hearing aids or cochlear implants may improve her ability to hear.
Using visual aids when possible to communicate with your hearing-impaired child encourages independence. According to Ferris State University, many hearing- impaired children depend on visual cues. A chart on the wall, with pictures depicting the morning routine, allows your child to develop independence and reduces her frustration in not being able to hear instructions.
Along with making sure she is looking at you when you say, “Please get dressed,” point to the photo of a child getting dressed. When it is time to brush her teeth, point to the photo of a child brushing her teeth, so that she visually sees what is expected of her. Choosing visual games to play, like patty cake, can help strengthen her lip-reading skills, along with making it fun when you act it out with her!
Choosing a Communication Method
Your hearing-impaired child depends on you to choose a communication method. Several methods are available. The severity of her hearing-impairment will affect what you choose to use. If she can hear some sounds, then using a combination of spoken and sign language may work for your family.
If she cannot hear at all, you may consider sticking strictly to sign language or a combination of lip reading and sign language. Or, cochlear implant surgery is a possibility. Your child’s pediatrician can perform tests to find out if hearing aids will improve her hearing. Whichever method you choose to communicate with your child, approaching it with a positive upbeat attitude will help her accept it. And that makes everyone happy.
Making Life Doable
Regardless of the cause or extent of your child’s hearing loss, making the effort to create a learning environment for her will help her reach developmental milestones. Support groups of other parents of hearing-impaired children will provide ideas that have worked in different families. Don’t assume your child shouldn’t be included in hearing-based activities.
Finding ways to share those experiences with her via visual clues and other sensory experiences sets the foundation that she can accomplish what she wants to, even if it is by using a different approach.
As the pressure to pass standardized tests increases, even preschools are spending more time on strictly academic subjects. Instead of a general introduction to the alphabet, many preschools include a ...Read More
Just because your little learner's lead teacher makes it look easy, doesn't mean that acting as an early childhood educator is simple. Teaching preschool age children requires highly specialized training ...Read More
The best time to send your child off to school depends largely on whom you ask. Proponents of starting kindergarten as early as possible believe it gives a child a ...Read More
Your little one may face a culture shock in daycare if your Christian values prevent him from doing things that are common in many daycare centers. That does not mean ...Read More
In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all ...Read More
Most parents adore that toothless gummy grin, but whether you like it or not, teeth begin to surface as your baby turns around 6 months old and his first milk ...Read More
You can use the camera on your iPod Touch to take VGA-quality photos and store them on the device, but you can also transfer high-quality photos from your computer to ...Read More
Because it's not enough that your preschooler or kindergartner can build an amazing sand castle and (almost) tie her own shoes -- now you have to worry about her math ...Read More
While an early educational program might not ensure that your preschooler is Harvard bound, it can help her to learn better. Whether you are looking to build on a specific ...Read More
In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; ...Read More
Instilling self-control by establishing and sticking with rules is the name of the game when it comes to reigning in misbehaving toddlers and preschoolers. Self-control -- something many adults could ...Read More
As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There's just something about dunking her meal that can get even the ...Read More
Potty training is a normal part of every child's physical and emotional development, but not every child develops at the same pace. If your child is resistant to potty training ...Read More
The grief that accompanies parental death can trigger psychological side effects for your child. If these psychological effects are long term or if they interfere with your child’s emotional or ...Read More
According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 80 percent of children living in the United States have at least one sibling. Many children have more than one sibling, and ...Read More
There are a number of psychological tests used to measure intellectual ability in children, but there are a limited number that are available for preschool-aged children. Although measurement of skills ...Read More
Toddlers are curious by nature. Young children in the toddler stage are discovering their independence and are interested in exploring the world around them. However, their exploration can lead to ...Read More
You don't have to break the bank to throw your little one a top-notch bash. Free or low-cost places such as public parks are creative alternatives to the more pricey ...Read More
If you're looking for a fun activity for you and your preschooler, (and an unforgettable party treat) these puppy cupcakes are sure to please. If you want to get creative ...Read More
Sensory play activities are enjoyable and educational for your toddler or preschooler. You're encouraged to join in the fun but expect to get your hands messy! Any pastime that stimulates ...Read More