Adults dealing with hearing loss already find the situation difficult so you can imagine the gigantic hurdles that it takes for a child to adjust to life wearing hearing aids. It requires time and a lot of patience to help your child get used to wearing hearing aids and to get accustomed to how they work.
Make Sure the Hearing Aids Fit Properly
Perhaps the very first step is to make sure that the hearing aids fit in well. There is nothing worse for a child with hearing loss than walking around with a painful pair of hearing aids that don’t fit in right. Take time with the ear-molds and test if they comfortably fit in or behind the child’s ears.
Remember that the ear-molds might fit in too tightly at first and will sooner or later adjust as the child continues to wear them. A lubricant may be required at first to make it easier to fit in. Also take some time with the specialist to learn how the ear-molds are properly placed or removed.
Build Up Their Sound Library
Some specialists like to use the term “sound library” and this is basically a progressive build-up to the level of background noise and accumulation of focused sounds a child with hearing aids can handle. Don’t immediately push your child into a busy crowd and expect to handle everything they hear.
Instead, start in a very quiet room so they can first get used to the aids they are wearing. This will also allow them to understand how adjustments are made so they can focus on one or two particular sounds.
In a quiet room your child can learn to test whether the hearing aids are working on not since all they have to do is focus on their parent’s voice.
Once they’ve gotten accustomed to just one or two sounds, try immersing them into slightly busier environments. Work your way up slowly, giving time and space for the child to adapt to the changing auditory scenery.
Patience is a Virtue
Remember that most children aren’t comfortable wearing hearing aids all day. Take it slowly. Reward them for wearing their hearing devices for long periods of time.
Adjustments are done incrementally. If the ear-molds keep falling off, if your child doesn’t grasp how adjustments are made, or if you have any other concerns and questions then make it a point to list them down. You’ll want to notify your child’s hearing specialist about everything, even about the smallest concerns.
Take time and soon your child will be able to deal with their hearing aids on their own. Many children who started wearing aids at an early age grow so accustomed they often forget they have them in the first place.
HK Hearing & Speech Centre
Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,
and Hearing Aid Prescription