Another crucial piece of #self-advocacy is for a child to be able to understand his or her hearing loss and explain it to another person. Imagine the confidence she will have when she, not her mom, says “These are hearing aids. I am hard of hearing and these help me hear you so we can talk!”
–A dad is preparing dinner while his 4-year-old son vies for full visual attention from him. Dad can explain (and will again, for years to come) that he can hear the child without looking at him.
–A 4th grader rises from her chair in class to shut the curtains when she can’t see the teacher in the glare of the sunlight.
17 year oldsenior shares his own goals for the year at his final IEP meeting, having asked ahead of time to put the IEP on transparencies and use an overhead projector.
When a child understands his own hearing loss, it makes comprehending needed accommodations much easier. Starting early, a child can grasp simple concepts like:
“I ‘hear’ better when I can see you talking.”
“I can explain to you what my hearing aid does for me.”
As a child’s cognitive abilities mature, this changes to:
–“I need to sit closer if I want to get the most out of this.”
–“It helps me to tell the substitute that I need directions in writing.”
–“My cochlear implant processor isn’t working correctly. I need to get an appointment and let the interpreters know before 1st period.”
–“I really get the best scores in classes with CART (computer assisted
Real TimeCaptioning); that’s what I want for my college lectures.”
Need a place to start with how to help your child explain their hearing loss? Check out our Advocacy Board on Pinterest! https://www.pinterest.com/beginningssc/advocacy/