It may surprise you to learn that hearing loss is fairly common in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.7 per 1,000 babies is born with hearing loss, and almost 15% of children ages six to 19 have frequency of at least 16 decibels in one or both ears.
If your child is among this population, you may have concerns about them developing social skills. Below we provide tips to help you child navigate social situations.
The Early Years
When you child is an infant, toddler or preschooler, you can improve their social skills by:
- Reading to them. Reading together and discussing ideas is a great way to improve your child’s speech-language skills from an early age. You can read books with hearing loss characters so your child knows they’re not alone.
- Scheduling play dates. Playdates, even at a young age, can help your child learn to interact with their peers. Watching you interact with other adults can also benefit your child.
- Joining a music class. Music plays an essential role in auditory development; your child will enjoy participating with other kids.
- Reducing background noise. Whether your child is having a play date or you’re trying to give them instructions, it’s important to try to reduce background noise as much as possible so they can better hear and understand.
The School Years
When your child reaches the school years, you can promote socialization by:
- Talking to their teachers and coaches. It’s important that your child’s teachers and coaches at Edmond Public Schools understand your child’s hearing loss and what communication strategies are effective for them.
- Enrolling them in after-school activities. Not only will this allow your child to explore their interests, they’ll also be able to interact with their peers who share them.
- Connecting with families. When your child makes friends, reaching out to their parents to schedule play dates and get to know each other can help your child socialize beyond school hours. In addition, one good friendship often opens the door to others.
For more information on hearing tests or to schedule an appointment, call Hearing Care by Hough today.