Each school year is a new beginning, presenting children and parents with challenges but also opportunities for growth and progress. Transitioning from the carefree and fun-filled summer days into the busyness and increased demands of structured school time can be a difficult period for everyone in the family, but you may discover even more challenges for your child that is hearing impaired. There are plenty of precautions you can take to make this yearly transition a little bit easier.
Communication With The School and Teachers
For children with hearing loss and their families, communication with teachers and other school staff in the beginning of the school year is extremely important. Give your child’s teacher and school staff a packet that includes instructions and information about your child’s hearing aid or cochlear implant, and replacement batteries. Consider including a battery tester for younger children, so teachers can tell the difference between a wandering mind and a low hearing-aid battery. Many teachers in the mainstream setting may not have had a child with hearing loss in their classroom, so they may benefit from some background information.
Your Child Is Entitled To The Same Education As Any Other Students
You aren’t getting a favor or special treatment when you ask a teacher to use a hearing amplification system or to make sure your child sits in the front row; he’s legally entitled to such arrangements. In fact, federal law requires schools to provide all students with access to the educational environment and to incorporate accommodations and modifications for students who need them, and federal special education laws have supported the need for audiology services in schools for more than 30 years.
Schedule A Visit With Your Audiologist
For children already hearing better through today’s advanced hearing technology, help keep their devices in top shape by scheduling a professional clean and check before school starts. Also, it could be prudent to put an extra set of batteries in their backpack and provide another backup set to their teacher.
If This Isn’t Your First Year
By the time your child goes back to school, you will be an expert on what works and doesn’t work for her, so don’t be afraid to share those tips with her teacher. For example, most kids with hearing loss don’t hear well if their back is turned to the speaker, especially in noisy classrooms, so teachers should get in the habit of catching their attention visually before speaking. Or sitting next to a buddy that can help with communication.
Volunteer If Able!
If it’s possible, periodically volunteer to help in the classroom and on field trips. You’ll have the chance to see how your child interacts with the teacher and other students, and you can offer the teacher suggestions to keep your child academically and socially engaged.
Consult Families, Experts, and Administrators
One of the best ways to receive support on any issue related to hearing loss is to tap into the collective experience and wisdom of families who have been on a similar journey and understand your needs and feelings. Here is a link with some more helpful suggestions: Student Tips
Sharing is Caring!