(From Noel Matkin, PhD, University of Arizona, 1996)

1. Make certain your child's ears have good medical care. An ear infection with fluid can cause a much larger hearing loss if it goes unattended.happy family 450

2. Make certain your child's hearing aids are in good working condition. Complete a daily listening check and visual inspection of the hearing aid and earmold (if applicable). "your audiologist can teach you how to do a listening check."

3. Set realistic expectations relative to your child's ability to talk by keeping normal development in mind. Remember: Input and storage precede output.

4. Always get your child's attention before you talk to him or her.happy family 450

5. Encourage your child to both look and listen when you talk. Even children with mild hearing losses communciate more easily if they can both see and hear you.

6. Talk to you child a lot. Make your home a languge-rich environment so that you help your child build vocabulary and expand the use of sentences.

7. If your child doesn't understand what you have said, don't just repeat the same message louder. Rephrase your message by using different vocabulary and sentence structure. Often, rephrasing will re-clarify the message of the child with a hearing loss.

8. Talk with your child in a quiet place; listening in noise is difficult even with a hearing aid.

9. Set a time in a quiet place where each evening you can read together and do homework. Communicating one-on-one in a quiet room makes it a lot easier for hearing-impaired children, even those who wear hearing aids. 10. Correct your child's speech by being a good speech model. Don't criticize or try to make your child speak perfectly. Always praise your child's attempt to communicate even if its not clear. children like to please, so with praise, they will keep trying to communicate.

11. Talk with other parents who have a hearing-imparied child. Often they can give you practical suggestions for communication strategies and management of behavior. (DOH encourages to use our live video chats for this).

12. Talk frequently with your child's teacher so you can reinforce new concepts and new vocabulary that your child learned at school.

13. Read and talk with your child about topics that will be discussed at school so new vocabulary and concepts are familiar. This will help your child more easily follow and partcipate in classroom discussions.

14. Encourange your child to indicate when he or she does not understand what has been said. Children may smile and nod "yes" even when they do not understand. Ask your child an occasional question realted to what you are talking about to make sure he or she underands.

The above information was obtained from Providence Speech and Hearing Centers.

Internet Resources for parents of Hearing Impaired/Deaf children