Great guest post from John O'Connor. He is a father, outdoorsman, sports enthusiast and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. John blogs at bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com.
How Children with Hearing Loss Can Overcome
If you’ve never had difficulty hearing, you may take it for granted at times. Can you imagine what it would be like to never hear birds chirping outside your window, children playing in the yard or coffee brewing in the kitchen? Many people associate hearing loss with old age, but in reality, many children experience it as well. In fact, some babies are born with hearing loss. As cases of hearing loss increase throughout the United States, more and more children are affected. In fact, around eight percent of those with severe to profound hearing loss are under 18. Even more will have difficulty hearing common sounds because around 15 percent of children between six and 19 have hearing loss in either high or low frequencies.
Children with hearing loss may face some obstacles growing up. These obstacles include difficulty learning to talk or to pronounce new words as well as academic difficulty with grammar and language arts. Often these children also face ridicule from their peers. They are often bullied for their hearing loss especially for wearing hearing aids. It is out job as parents to make sure that these children know that just because they have hearing loss, it does not make them any different from anyone else.
Like adults who are hard of hearing, children with hearing impairment often benefit from hearing aids. The small microphone in each hearing aid amplifies sound, and then the hearing aid processes it and directs it into the wearer’s ear. Most individuals go through a period of difficulty in getting used to hearing aids and learning how to interpret the sounds they can now hear. Ultimately, however, many individuals with hearing loss find hearing aids to be very helpful.
Many hearing-impaired individuals also rely on gestures and other non-verbal forms of communication. Children with hearing loss often communicate with family and friends using sign language, a complex system of hand gestures used to express thoughts and ideas.
Despite the potential adversities of growing up with hearing loss, these children can still achieve great things. Consider major league baseball player Nick Hamilton. At age three, he was diagnosed with a rare hearing loss disorder. Although he eventually was able to undergo surgery to halt the progress of his hearing loss, he still has to rely heavily on the use of hearing aids, which he wears consistently. When on the field he uses lip reading and hand gestures to communicate effectively with coaches and teammates.
Tamika Catchings remembers being picked on a lot as a child because of the clunky hearing aids she wore. When things got tough, she escaped to the basketball court where no one would make fun of her. She practiced and used her natural talent to become the best. Today, she is a six-time WNBA all star and has won three Olympic gold medals.
Just because your child has hearing loss it does not make them any different from anyone else. With proper education, love and support your child will be more than equipped to tackle the world just like every other kid out there.