Neither a universal treatment nor a universal intervention will work for every child and every family. Constant evaluation like getting a hearing test near me , subsequent assessment, and course corrections are hallmarks of effective intervention schemes. For families with children who have hearing loss, there are several choices. The following are examples of possible interventions and treatments:
- Collaboration between a professional and a family member facilitates better communication.
- Investing in a hearing aid or other assistive listening device.
- Participating in various forms of group therapy.
- Using the other tools designed for families with a kid who has hearing loss.
Early Intervention and Special Education
Early Intervention (0-3 years)
A child’s capacity to communicate and interact with others may be hampered by hearing loss. It is more probable that a child who is deaf or hard of hearing will develop to their full potential in speech, language, and social skills if they begin receiving services as early as possible.
Young children with hearing impairments might benefit significantly from the assistance provided by early intervention programs. The studies suggest that a child’s development can be considerably boosted by receiving early intervention treatments. Infants who are deaf or hard of hearing should start getting help as soon as possible, but no later than six months of age.
Early Intervention services, also known as Part C services, are provided to infants and toddlers from birth to 36 months of age. Even if your child has not yet been diagnosed with a hearing loss, he or she may be eligible for early intervention treatment programs.
Individualized Education (3-22 years)
Older children with impairments or developmental delays may benefit from special education, which includes tailored training. The public school system serves as a conduit for services for these kids.
It’s important to remember that many deaf and hard-of-hearing people can still hear some sounds. When referring to someone deaf or hard of hearing, the term “residual hearing” describes the amount of usable hearing they still possess. While technology cannot “fix” a child’s hearing loss, it can help them make the most of what little hearing they do have. There are a variety of possibilities for parents who want their children to use technology.
- Hearing Aids
Sound is amplified by hearing aids. Infants as young as a few months old can wear them. Hearing aids can help infants who have trouble understanding sounds. This may provide an early opportunity for children to acquire language abilities.
Hearing aids come in a wide variety of designs. They are effective in treating a wide variety of hearing impairments. Hearing aids worn behind the ear are the norm for children since they are more adaptable to changing ear canals.
- Cochlear and Auditory Brainstem Implants
There is hope for numerous young kids with severe to profound hearing loss thanks to cochlear implant development. It provides a means of amplification for the child when a hearing aid is insufficient. Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants do not amplify sound levels. A cochlear implant mechanically stimulates the auditory nerve to pick up sound.
A hearing aid or cochlear implant may not help a person whose hearing loss is severe to profound because their hearing nerve is missing, very tiny, or the inner ear (cochlea) is highly malformed. Alternatively, a device implanted in the brainstem could improve hearing. An auditory brainstem implant instead stimulates the brainstem’s hearing circuits, bypassing the inner ear and auditory nerve.
There are two essential components to both cochlear and brainstem implants. The cochlea and the brainstem are surgically implanted parts. Sound is sent to the cochlea and the brainstem by parts that are outside the body.
Other Aids to Daily Living
Various devices are available to assist those with hearing loss, not just hearing aids. A few further instances of aid are as follows:
- FM System
Those who have trouble hearing in noisy environments may benefit from using an FM system. Frequency modulation is what “FM” refers to. This transmission method is identical to that of radio waves. With an FM system, a speaker can talk into a microphone and have their voice sent to a listener wearing a tiny receiver. It is not uncommon for this system to be paired with assistive listening devices. The hearing aid is modified with an accessory to accommodate the FM receiver.
TV shows, movies, and DVDs sometimes have captions for the hearing impaired. Captioning is built into all TVs manufactured after 1993. There’s no special purchase required. Talking heads on TV shows have their words typed out and shown at the bottom of the screen as captions.
In addition to this, there are further tools:
- Hearing aids aren’t the only option for kids who have trouble hearing. Among them is the use of text messages.
- Telephone amplifiers.
- Alarms that flash lights and vibrate the user’s body.
- Mechanical and electronic loops for playing sound continuously.
- Telescopic infrared eavesdropping equipment.
- Mobile amplification systems.
- TTY (text telephone or teletypewriter).
Medical and surgical procedures
Sometimes, medical treatment or surgical intervention is necessary to help a person hear as well as possible. This is especially the case when the problem lies in the outer or middle ear, as in the case of conductive hearing loss.
Ear infections that persist for an extended period can lead to conductive hearing loss. When fluid accumulates in the middle ear, behind the eardrum, this is known as a “persistent” ear infection. Medication or close observation is usually sufficient to control ear infections. When antibiotics don’t work to get rid of an ear infection, a simple tube is put into the eardrum to drain the fluid.
When the outer or middle ear does not develop properly during pregnancy, it can lead to a sort of conductive hearing loss. The outer and middle ears must cooperate for accurate signal transmission to the inner ear. There could be hearing loss in that ear if any of these structures didn’t develop normally.
A surgical procedure has the potential to alleviate or possibly eradicate this issue. This issue is often addressed by an otolaryngologist. Another option is to have surgery to put in a cochlear implant, an auditory brainstem implant, or a bone-anchored hearing aid.
Children with hearing impairments have difficulty acquiring language without supplementary aid. These kids may therefore be at risk for developmental delays in other areas as well. Families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing may need to adapt their communication methods or acquire new skills (such as sign language) to facilitate their children’s language development. This knowledge can be used with assistive listening devices like hearing aids, cochlear implants, or implants in the auditory brainstem.
Family Support Services
Some parents may be shocked to learn that their child has hearing loss. It can take time and assistance for parents to adjust to their child’s hearing loss.
Many resources help parents cope with their child’s newly discovered hearing loss. Advice, information, meeting other parents of children with hearing loss, connecting with a deaf mentor, obtaining day-care or transportation, giving them time to relax, and just being there are all forms of support.
The Deaf community has a distinctive culture that allows its members to express their individuality and flourish. Don’t judge someone solely on their ability to hear you; there’s more to them than that!