Hearing aids are typically sound amplification devices that could either be Behind-The-Ear (BTE) or In-The-Ear contraptions (ITE). And while it is difficult for a child to understand the problem initially, it takes time and effort for him to realize that his handicap is lessened with the help of the useful aid. Therefore fitting the child with an appropriate device as soon as the problem has been detected is of crucial importance, as untreated conditions could very easily affect his self-image and socialization skills.
BTEs generally involve hooks over the ears and are used for babies and very young children who grow rapidly and hence would otherwise require frequent modifications in their devices. ITEs, on the other hand, fit directly into the ear and are not visible from the outside and, are therefore, more preferred by older children and teenagers. One can also choose between digital and analog systems, which are the two forms that hearing devices are available in. While the former is more expensive and is run with the help of a microchip that automatically controls the amount of sound filtered, the latter has settings that can be changed manually and work better in the long run.
While some young children are very eager to keep their hearing devices in place, others refuse to wear them completely and therefore have to be coaxed and cajoled into doing so. The parent should also check the settings of the aid and make sure that the volume control has been placed at a reasonable level. Often this is one of the main reasons why children dislike their aids, which can easily be rectified by visiting a doctor or seeking the advice of a health care professional. Using them initially at home also makes the child more comfortable with the device and also introduces them to sound gradually and gently. The child can later graduate to wearing the aid on the street or at the mall, when he has become more comfortable. Lastly would be the wearing the device at school where he is often most conscious about exposing his vulnerability to his peer group.
Along with being loving and patient, parents need to explain to the child the importance of the aid while also motivating and supporting him. The child also needs to be involved in the problem and the selection of his device so that he feels more like a participant rather than just the wearer. Communicating with the child and asking why he doesn’t like to wear them, or making them part of his daily routine of school, studies and play will also help ease the initiation.
The trick is to getting a child to wear the aid himself and keep it in for a sufficient amount of time. Distracting him with his favorite toy, when it comes to putting on the device can easily do this. He soon starts associating the toy with his hearing aid, and therefore is eager and ready every time the toy is presented. Introducing the child to adults and peers who also wear aids can also work toward reducing the alienation he initially feels and might make him more comfortable wearing it in public.
The recent introduction of colorful hearing devices have become very popular with children and come in different price ranges to meet every budget. These aids are also much easier to detect if fallen on the ground and are also more difficult for the child to forget or lose. Wearing bulky, out of synch devices are therefore a thing of the past, and there are always measures to resolve any of the issues your child may face toward them.
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