Getting your child used to their first hearing aids can be a real struggle, especially if they're not excited about the prospect. You may need to work with them for a while to get them fully on-board with the changes that will be taking place in their life. If your child is old enough to understand, it's important that you open up a dialogue with them. Allow them to voice their concerns, and help them adjust to their new hearing aid. Here are four additional steps you can take to help you child adapt to wearing a hearing aid.
Start with a Practice Run
If your child is worried about the way a hearing aid will look, or feel, talk to their doctor about trying a practice run. A practice hearing aid will allow your child to practice for a few days before they begin wearing their permanent piece. Once they've practiced, they'll be ready for the real thing.
Make it Personal
If your child is old enough to have favorite colors and patterns, let them personalize their new hearing aid. Allowing them to choose the color and design of their hearing aid will give them a vested interest in it, and will encourage them to wear it more often. This is particularly important for kids who are already establishing a sense-of-self.
Start Out Slow
If your child is profoundly hard-of-hearing, the change may be particularly difficult for them to adjust to. In fact, they may have a hard time adjusting to full-time use of the hearing aid. Go ahead and start out slow. Give your child time to adjust to their new hearing aid. Letting them wear it for a few hours at a time, and them giving them a break, will help them get used to wearing the hearing aid.
Get Your Child Into a Routine
If your child has a hard time remembering to wear their hearing aid, you'll need to help get them established on a routine. Begin by establishing a time that they'll put their hearing aid on each morning, preferably as soon as they wake up. Next, establish a time when they'll remove the hearing aid each night, preferably right before bed. Establishing a routine will help your child adjust to their use of a hearing aid. Ensuring that the routine is centered around their sleeping/waking patterns, will help prevent hearing aid loss since the hearing aid will be stored next to the bed.