Tips for Communicating With a Child With Hearing Loss

Any adult, whether a parent or a teacher, can become frustrated when attempting to communicate with a child who has a hearing loss. The child can become frustrated as well, so it’s crucial to be patient and not convey any disapproval. If you are a parent, teacher, or family member, what follows are some important tips for communicating with a child with hearing loss.

How to Support a Child With a Hearing Impairment

Hearing impaired children can become very anxious in large groups. They may get easily upset and frustrated if they miss what’s going on. Angry outbursts are not unusual if, for example, their hearing aid stops working.

It’s important to let them know they need to communicate problems or issues to you or another adult, so it can be resolved. Explain that they are as much a part of this two-way relationship as you are. 

Assure them you understand their feelings and want to help.

Tips for Parents and Families

The whole family should be in tune with your parameters for communication. Otherwise you are spinning your wheels.

What follows are some non-negotiables for family communication:

  • Try to ensure that your child is looking at your before you initiate communication. Give them a cue either by saying their name, touching them, or using some visual sign.
  • Be certain any hearing aids are turned on and in good working order. This should be the case each day.
  • Be sure you have your child’s attention before beginning a conversation.
  • Speak slowly. Never raise your voice or shout as that will make it harder for a child to understand.
  • Keep your hands away from your face when you talk. This can muffle what you’re saying. Avoid eating when trying to communicate.
  • Try to avoid background noises. Move away from machinery, turn off the TV, and ask others to talk softly to not to distract.

School and Child Care Programs

Meet with teachers to not only provide basic information about your child’s hearing loss, but to make some recommendations. Help them understand that even though they are wearing hearing aids, they still don’t hear exactly like children with normal hearing.

Suggest they be seated near the teacher and away from doors and windows. You may also provide them with some of the tips given to your family.

Many children with hearing loss can benefit from the use of visual tools, such as graphs, pictures, and text labels to support spoken lessons. They may also benefit from repeating or rephrasing key information throughout the lesson.

Contact Hearts for Hearing for additional tips and recommendations unique for your child’s hearing impairment.



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