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Helping kids with hearing loss

Families can help little kids when they have hearing loss from sore ears in lots of ways.

Show as well as tell

Kids watch more when their ears don’t work well. It helps if people show things that they are talking about.

It is good to use lots of pointing, actions and sign language. Kids with listening problems need more help to understand what is said and what is going on in their world. Family often need to give them more help than other kids. Families may get angry and tell off (growl)at kids with listening problems for not doing as they are asked to do. The child may not have heard what they were told, especially if there was background noise, like a TV playing when someone talked to them. Family need to help more, and growl less when kids have listening problems.

Talk more

Kids with listening problems miss out on hearing what is said so it is important for family to take time to talk to kids more to help them learn language and understand what is going on.

Kids hear you better when it is quiet so:

  • Turn off the music or TV when you want kids to listen.
  • Make places quiet and good for listening with pillows, carpets and curtains.

They are likely to be paying attention and not distracted by other things when you:

  • Get down low to get kid’s attention before you start talking.
  • Use your face and eyes as well as your voice to get kids attention and keep it.
  • Talk to kids face to face so they can see your mouth.
  • With very young children call out or make baby sounds to get their attention

They can hear you well when you:

  • Make sure you talk loud enough so they can hear.
  • Check that kids can hear. Ask them to tell you what you said.
  • Talk slowly and clearly.

What they see helps them understand what is said when you:

  • Use your expressions on your face and body language.
  • Use a toy or a picture or point at things to show kids what you are talking about.

To make sure what they can see does not distract them from listening:

  • Move away from places that have too many distractions.
  • Read a book where kids will focus on the book and not look at other things that distract them.

They keep interested in listening when you:

  • Talk about things they are interested in.
  • Repeat things they have not understood.