Everyone wants the best for their child, including a healthy social life. For children with hearing loss, it may be difficult to make friends due to communication barriers and stigma about hearing loss. The first step is for their hearing loss to be identified with a hearing test then treated with hearing aids. The next steps are up to you. We’ve compiled some tips below for you to help your child gain essential social skills they’ll rely on throughout life.
- Meet up with other families. It’s important to spend time with other families who have kids around your child’s age. This way they can learn socialization with their peers as well as observe your interactions with other parents.
- Educate other parents. Talk to other parents about your child’s hearing loss, their treatment, your goals for their social development and their communication needs.
- This reduces stigma around hearing loss and empowers parents to teach their children the best way to play with and talk to your child.
- Create a quiet environment. Even with hearing aids or cochlear implants, situations with background noise are difficult for people with hearing loss. During social interactions, try to eliminate background noise like the television.
- Join a music class. Music exposure is an important part of auditory development, and your child will enjoy making music with their peers.
- Enroll in after school activities. This will allow your child to spend time with other kids who share their interests. Make sure the activity is something your child enjoys and is not just something you want them to enjoy.
- Talk to their teachers. It’s important for your child’s teacher to know about their hearing loss in order to accommodate their needs in the classroom. Ask the teacher to contact you about any questions or concerns.
- Teach empathy. Empathy and the ability to recognize and respond to others’ emotions is a key component of friendship. Talk to your child about their feelings and help them work through frustration they feel about themselves or others.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a pediatric audiologist, call Wilmington Audiology today!