Explaining Hearing Loss To Children

Tuesday, October 13, 2020


Photo by Mark Paton on Unsplash

In America alone, 11 million individuals suffer from hearing loss or deafness, be that due to congenital birth defects or prolonged exposure to loud noises. Whilst this is obviously a distressing time for the person suffering from the hearing loss, and they deserve as much support as possible - it also has a profound impact on their friends and family. As a result, it is important that we begin to have conversations regarding hearing loss with those around us, especially children who may find the concept harder to understand. Whether they have a grandparent or elderly relative who is deaf, or even a classmate who wears a hearing aid, helping them understand what is happening and why is important that we do what we can to help.

Talk about it.

The easiest way to bring up the topic is through conversation.

Say: ‘Did you know that your friend ____ is deaf? What do you think that means?

Allow them to formulate their own response. If they make a mistake, try and find a simple way of explaining hearing loss to them. Discuss the possible causes, such as loud noises or infectious diseases. However, be sure they understand that just because a person is deaf, doesn’t mean they can’t communicate or play with them. They still want to have fun just like everyone else!

Answer any questions.

Give your child plenty of time to ask questions, especially if someone they are spending a lot of time with is suffering from hearing loss. They may feel as though they are not being listened to or ignored, which is clearly not the case. Let them know that it is okay to ask questions about things that they don’t understand.

Make use of all resources available.

Children learn a lot from the media they consume, therefore another way to help them better understand deafness is through watching videos on the topic together. This can include videos that explain the concept in a simple, straightforward way so that they will easily get to grasps with the topic, such as in the video below.

However, you can also watch TV shows or read books that feature deaf characters. This will help make your child aware of the struggles they face in day to day life and can help them become a better friend and supporter.

Encourage them to be kind and helpful.

Once your child has a better understanding of hearing loss, you can begin to teach them the various ways they can help those around them who may be suffering from it. This can include learning ASL (American Sign Language), encouraging them to get involved with any games or activities, or simply being there to support them no matter what. There are plenty of resources online that provide you with guidance on how to support someone who is dealing with hearing loss, click here to learn more.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket photo googleplus.png

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love reading and responding to comments but in order to get my reply you must ensure you are NOT a no-reply blogger. If you are, here are some quick steps to change that!

1. Go to the home page of your Blogger account.
2. Select the drop down beside your name on the top right corner and choose Blogger Profile.
3. Select Edit Profile at the top right.
4. Select the Show My Email Address box.
5. Hit Save Profile.