Children With Hearing Impairment

Hearing is essential to understand and use spoken language. If your child is behind in learning to talk, please have their hearing tested. If they have ear infections or fluid in the ear, please make sure that they get medical attention. If they have difficulty hearing, because of a permanent or temporary hearing impairment, and are learning to use spoken language, these tips may help:

  • Face your child and look at them. Make sure they can see your face – keep your hands and other objects away from your face, and keep beards or moustaches well-trimmed. Make sure your face is well-lit – if there is a window, stand opposite it, not in front of it.
  • Move close to your child. Avoid talking to them from another room.
  • Get their attention before you speak to them.
  • Speak clearly, and use a slow but natural speech rate.
  • Use a loud enough voice for your child to hear, but avoid shouting, since shouting distorts your speech.
  • Make sure only one person speaks at a time.
  • If they don’t answer right away, be patient. It may take longer to understand what you said.
  • Watch closely for signs that they don’t understand. Use different words, gestures, pictures or writing to show them what you mean. Over time, encourage them to tell you when they don’t understand.
  • Reduce background noise, such as noise from a TV, radio, or appliances, especially when you are talking. If you cannot shut off something noisy, move away from it or move it away from your child.
  • When you go out, try to choose a quiet place and time to go. You can phone ahead to restaurants to find out when they are likely to be quiet.
  • Sit at the front of the room when you go out to plays or to a worship service.
  • They may need more rest because listening with any degree of hearing difficulty is tiring. Let them have breaks from listening.

If your child has a speech or language delay for any reason including hearing impairment, please consult a Speech-Language Pathologist.

SpeechWorks Inc. offers private Speech-Language Pathology services for children and adults in Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Nunavut.

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