Family discussing hearing loss on hike

What Did You Say? How Kids Can Talk to Their Friends About Hearing Loss

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Each year, more than 12,000 babies in the U.S. are born with some degree of hearing loss. As ways of detecting hearing loss are becoming more advanced, we’re now able to diagnose hearing loss in its early stages, helping a growing number of children find the help they need.

Unfortunately, that often means more children wearing hearing aids at a much younger age. Combine this with the fact that children are inquisitive by nature and you have the potential for unnecessary teasing and even being outcast. And even when it’s not outright bullying, simple curiosity can be misinterpreted as a personal attack.

Fortunately, these situations can often be avoided by being upfront and communicating what your child’s hearing aids do and why they need to wear them. Here are a few tips to help you and your child speak to their friends about hearing loss.

What Kids Can Say to Other Children

Remember the 4 B’s:

  • Be Open
  • Be Honest
  • Be Positive
  • Be Yourself

The fastest way for your child to become more comfortable with their hearing loss is to acknowledge it. Your child’s peers will likely have questions, so it’s important to clear the air as soon as possible. Let the other children know what the hearings aids are and what they do.

For Parents: Be Reassuring

Adolescence and uncertainty go hand in hand. As children struggle to define themselves, it’s important to stay supportive. Some children may not mind wearing their hearing aids, but others may feel embarrassed about them and actually take them off when they get to school.

This can have a dramatic effect on their social growth, as children whose hearing is left untreated may fall behind their peers in terms of development. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the earlier children receive treatment for hearing loss, the more likely their social and listening skills are able to reach their full potential.

Helping your child understand the importance of wearing their hearing aids and how there’s nothing to feel embarrassed about at an early age can help them feel more comfortable opening up to others as well.

If it has been determined that your child needs a hearing aid, it’s important that they wear them. For more information on hearing health and more tips on how to cope with hearing loss, Go here.