Thursday, 6 June 2013

Hearing Loss: How to Help a Child Cope

Today I have my first guest post for you.  
John got in touch with me back in May, which I was unaware was Better Hearing and Speech Month, and asked if I would help him in his cause to spread awareness on this issue. 

Hi my name is John O'Connor, I am a father, outdoors man, 
sports enthusiast and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.  Check out my new blog at!

What comes to mind when you hear the terms “hearing loss,” “hearing aid” or 
“deafness”? For many, these terms conjure pictures of elderly people, but in reality
many children and young people struggle with hearing impairment. Some babies 
are born with hearing loss. Other children develop it early in life. Of Americans with 

Children with hearing loss often experience difficulties learning to speak or 
pronounce new words. They also frequently have academic difficulties with 
grammar, vocabulary and word choice, among other things. Many times other 
children tease and bully those with hearing loss because they “sound funny” or can’t 
pronounce certain words.

For some individuals with hearing loss, hearing aids can be effective. Each device
contains a tiny microphone that amplifies sound. The sound is then transported to 
the wearer’s inner ear where it can be heard. Most wearers require some time to 
adjust to the new sensory input, but usually the device is effective.

Some hearing impaired individuals must rely on non-verbal communication. Sign 
language is one way in which many children with hearing loss and their families 
communicate. It makes use of a complex system of hand gestures to create an 
entire language based on non-verbal communication.

Despite the difficulties of hearing impairment, many hearing-impaired individuals 
have led successful lives. Tamika Catchings, a six-time WNBA all star, experienced 
hearing loss at a young age. As she grew up, many of the other children laughed at 
her because of the bulky hearing aids she wore. Instead of becoming discouraged, 
she focused on improving her skills as an athlete. Today, her accomplishments 
include three Olympic gold medals.

Nick Hamilton of the Cleveland Indians experienced tremendous hearing loss after 
a diagnosis of a rare hearing disorder at the age of three. Although he was able to 
undergo surgery to halt his hearing loss, Hamilton now wears hearing aids and reads 
lips and communicates with gestures while on the baseball field.

Hearing aid provider EarQ promotes a campaign called HearStrong to help 
eliminate the stigma of hearing loss in our society. Their HearStrong Champions are 
individuals who have overcome the adversity of hearing loss to become powerful 
forces in our world.

When a child experiences hearing loss, the challenges can be overcome. If you have 
a child with this difficulty, nurture him or her to be strong and face challenges head 
on.  With a little education, love and knowledge anything is possible.

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