The beginning of a new school can be just as exciting as it is frightening for young students. Anxiety can come in the form of new classes, new classmates, new teachers, and maybe even a new school. These fears can be exasperated if your child has a hearing impairment. These fears and worries can be lessened and even eliminated with proper preparation and the right action plan. If you are unsure as to where to begin, not to worry, we have gathered some of the best back to school tips for the hearing impaired, allowing you and your child can prepare so that you can make the most of the new school year.
Back To School Tips For The Hearing Impaired
Tip #1- Communicate
No one should know the details of a child’s life better than the parent(s).
While most schools do keep accurate records, each new year brings the possibility of computer and record errors, compounded with new staff or even a new school. It’s essential to contact and meet with school officials to ensure they have the most current information about your child’s needs. Become aware of the school and its environment, and most importantly, ask about any special programs or technology that the school offers to assist the hearing impaired. While the support system differs from school to school, many offer classroom assistants, note-takers, or audio amplification units. Unlocking this tip will go a long way to ensure your child thrives in class instead of struggling needlessly.
Tip #2- Prepare According to Your Needs
As each child is unique, so are their needs. The technology of hearing aids and audio assist devices are no different, be sure to have extra components such as batteries, cases, cleaners, and tools at the ready just in case something goes wrong. Packing a labeled kit can help if your child needs assistance; if they are too young for that responsibility, you can meet with their teacher or school nurse to make sure they know how to handle the equipment.
Tip #3- Support and Encourage
For many kids, the learning experience is already hard enough, but feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable can hinder their concentration. Just encouraging them to wear it might not go far enough. It’s a good idea to talk to their teacher to help you monitor their habits. Make sure to speak to your child about how they feel about their equipment, especially if they are new to hearing aids and devices. There are many options for hearing aid devices that can make them less noticeable or even stand out in a fashionable or fun way.
Tip #4- Make a Backup Plan
When in doubt, have a backup, and even when you are sure, have a backup anyway. Even the best plans don’t always turn out; dead batteries, worn out, broken, or even lost equipment can spell disaster for the whole day. Speak with your school’s staff to see if backup devices can be stored at the school, and always have an extra notepad and pen or pencil to make sure your child’s ability to communicate is not compromised.
It’s never easy dealing with hearing impairment, but you can help create the best chance your child has to grow and thrive with a little extra effort.