MY BABY IS HARD OF HEARING? WHAT SHALL I DO?
- Send for the Oberkotter Foundation’s free Parents’ Information Kit and video, “Dreams Spoken Here”, a documentary about deaf children learning to talk. Open captioned in English, Spanish, French, Chinese. Phone 877-672-5332 for your free copy.
- Contact Oberkotter Foundation, Auditory-Verbal International and the Alexander Graham Bell Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
- Read this AGBell booklet: Giving Your Child Access to Sound: Next Steps for Parents.
SECOND – Be Aware
- It is important to be an involved, informed and assertive parent.
- When you learn that your infant is hard of hearing, you must immediately begin intervention. Do not wait 6 months or a year. Infants as young as one month can be fitted with hearing aids.
- Babies, who are aided before they are six months old, demonstrate higher expressive and receptive speech skills and reading comprehension and are more likely to be mainstreamed in school than those who are not caught and treated until after the age of six months.
- Choose an auditory-oral or auditory-verbal language option, so that your child may learn to listen and to speak.
- Be sure your child gets at least two hours of speech therapy a week.
- Keep your baby in the least restrictive environment-a mainstream “Mommy and Me” class, a mainstream preschool, a mainstream kindergarten, etc. Keep checking on your baby’s hearing and if you need help, contact an auditory-oral school or auditory-verbal service for an evaluation, to receive speech and language therapy or instructions on how to teach your baby.
- How is Newborn Hearing Screening Testing done? Today many babies will have their hearing tested before they leave the hospital. The tests are simple and painless and take only a few minutes.
- Cochlear Implants. The FDA approved the cochlear implant for children in 1995, and for 12-month-old babies in 2000
- Who will pay for hearing aids?
Under the California Department of Developmental Services Early Startprogram, for ages birth to three years, the Regional Center and/or school district are responsible for providing assistive technology, but there is disagreement as to whether a hearing aid is “assistive technology” or a “prescriptive medical device.” Through the IFSP process, you may ask the Regional Center or school district to purchase the hearing aids, and they may agree to do so. If they don’t, you may file a due process, or you might look elsewhere for funding.California Children’s Services (CCS) pay for hearing aids for children whose families meet financial eligibility. Some insurance plans are now covering a small part of the cost of hearing aids. Hope for Hearing, the A.G. Bell Association or local service organizations (Lions, Rotary, etc.) may have some funding available.Hope for Hearing Foundation
6535 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 255
Los Angeles CA 90048
Phone 323 651-2615 or FAX 323 651-2631
THIRD – Be Hopeful
- Ninety percent of deaf/hard-of-hearing babies/children have hearing parents.
- Due to recent technology–digital hearing aids, cochlear implants, captioning, assistive listening devices, amplified telephones, California Relay Service, web sites and the fact that testing of all newborns may soon be a reality–most deaf or hard of hearing infants can be of the hearing world, no matter what the degree of hearing loss.
- Under ideal circumstances–early detection, informed, involved and assertive parents, immediate intervention and choice of an auditory-oral or auditory-verbal language option-your child may become part of the hearing world.
- Read Welcome to Holland
- Read Positive Changes