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Understanding your Baby’s Hearing Loss

I recently found out my baby has a hearing loss. I know he hears something. How can I understand what the hearing loss means to my child and my family?

Discovering how hearing loss impacts listening at home: Early Listening Function (ELF) Questionnaire – The ELF is a discovery tool for parents to systematically observe what it means to have a young child with hearing loss in the home environment. It shares 12 listening activities for you to do at home. Watch your child as you do the different sounds. Do them at different distances to find out the size of your child’s ‘listening bubble.’ Listen to the recordings below to better understand how distance from you and background noise will effect how your baby picks up language at home.

Importance of the role of parents! Parent Involvement : The Magic Ingredient in Successful Child Outcomes– This article was written for audiologists however it describes the discovery process that parents go through when they learn they have a child with hearing loss and how the ELF assessment can help.

Hearing loss types – what is going on in the ears/brain? Sorting Out the 4 Types of Hearing Loss – Not all hearing losses are caused by the same problem; some are permanent, some can be helped with medicine, – at first it can be very confusing to understand the differences. This 1-page summary provides some analogies that helps to understand what is going on with the auditory system to cause the different types of hearing loss (conductive, sensorineural, central/neural, mixed).

A mild hearing loss really is serious when it comes to keeping up with learning: Mild Hearing Loss with Simulations 20 dB (Slight) Loss 30 dB (Mild) Loss – The name ‘mild’ is an inaccurate description of just how a hearing loss from 25-40 dB can affect a child life long, if not addressed early in life, as described in this information.

What should I share with the child care provider? Welcoming the Child with Hearing Loss into Child Care

Ear infections sometimes can affect development: Ear Infections and Early Learning – Most children have one or more ear infections when they are young. If a child has many, over a long period it may affect hearing and the hearing loss can effect early learning.

Looking ahead at how hearing loss may impact listening and learning needs: Relationship of Hearing Loss to Listening and Learning Needs – 1 hearing loss per page (parent/teacher version)– This set of handouts is for families that know the dB level of their child’s hearing loss (i.e., 45 dB hearing loss in the better ear) and are wondering what that may mean in terms of future school success. The dB levels of hearing loss are used because the terms minimal (16-25 dB), mild (26-40 dB) and moderate (41-55 dB) hearing loss do not match the seriousness of these hearing losses regarding child development, listening and learning.

Demonstrations of Listening with a Hearing Loss and through Hearing Aids

Experiencing a hearing loss by listening to a simulation can be a powerful step toward understanding what it means to your child to have a hearing loss. Hearing aids make sound louder – both speech AND unwanted noise. Listen to the demonstrations to better understand how noise and distance will impact how your young child will be challenged to pick up language in these situations. Go to Demonstrations webpage