In celebration of Better Hearing and Speech Month, we’d like to shine a light on the ASHA campaign called “Listen to Your Buds”. This public education campaign is aimed at preventing noise-induced hearing loss by helping parents teach their children how to use personal audio technology in a safe manner. These safe habits include turning down the volume on iPod and MP3 music players, and taking breaks when listening to personal audio technology to help avoid damaging effects that may cause hearing loss.
In one word? Plenty! According to the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management at Utah State University, “Left undetected, hearing impairments in infants can negatively impact speech and language acquisition, academic achievement, and social and emotional development.” When a newborn is tested and diagnosed with hearing loss early, there are effective intervention strategies to help your child achieve normal, or nearly normal speech, language and hearing milestones as she grows up.
For those without hearing loss, lacking the ability to listen to music or enjoy a child’s laughter is almost unthinkable. Many of us take our senses for granted, but what we do if a loved one was suddenly diagnosed with hearing loss? Kristen Johnson of No Small Thing dealt with exactly that when she and her husband found out that one of their sons, Henry, had hearing loss. Although the diagnosis was initially difficult to cope with, Kristen and her family found a way to turn Henry’s condition into an opportunity. As she points out in our interview, there are many other methods of communicating; it just takes a little experimenting to find one that suits your family. For Kristen’s advice and to find out just what, exactly, hearing loss has to do with peanut butter and mustard sandwiches, check out our interview below.
There’s no denying that we’ve been through some difficult economic times lately, with no real end in sight. Families across the country and worldwide are worried about everything from their grocery expenses to their car payments. Families of children with speech disorders and other special needs face the additional burdens of financing speech therapy sessions, occupational therapy sessions, and anything else that the child needs to succeed. If you have a child with hearing loss, you probably already know how expensive hearing aids are. One hearing aid can cost from $1,000 to $6,000. If your child has hearing loss in both ears, you can multiply that figure by two. And don’t forget about repairs and replacement costs. Check below for some resources that may help you pay for your child’s hearing aids.
A cochlear implant is a device that bypasses damaged hair cells in the inner ear to stimulate the auditory nerve. This allows a Deaf person to perceive sound. It is not a cure for hearing loss. While a person can receive a cochlear implant at any age, experts have long agreed that if a parent decides to have a child undergo the surgery, the sooner the better. Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) have also found that children who undergo the surgery sooner rather than later demonstrate the most positive benefits.