Answer: You must regularly follow up for assessment and intervention until they are complete.
Answer: He/She will take time to realize even that he/she must respond to sounds. He/She must also associate the sound of his/her name to himself & understand that he/she is being called. This takes time as it involves the ability to discriminate between different sounds & identify a particular sound (his/her name). This is the reason why he/she does not turn around if you call him by name.
Answer: A cochlear implant is a prosthetic device, which is meant for people with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss who do not get adequate benefit from hearing aids. An implant directly stimulates the nerve cells in the cochlea via an electrical current whereas a hearing aid provides amplified sound to the ear. An implant needs to be fixed through surgery. Detailed assessments are necessary before deciding whether a child is a suitable candidate for a cochlear implant. An implant does not cure the hearing loss. The child has to wear an instrument, which is visible externally. He/She will also have to under go intervention to improve speech & language abilities.
Answer: Every child with hearing impairment must have access to education and it is his/her right. The placement will depend on the individual child's abilities, which are determined through assessment. A special educator can tell whether the child needs to go to a special school or whether he/she can attend a regular/normal school. This decision is important because the correct school placement determines how the child's future progress will take place. Many children with hearing impairment, who have good language abilities go to regular schools & perform well. However if a child has difficulties coping up with the regular curriculum he/she would benefit from a special school where teachers are trained to handle such children or continue at a regular school with extra help from a special educator. Refer to ‘Educational Services’ for more details.
Answer: We consider parents as partners in our intervention program. Parents are after all the child's first teachers. The emotional bonding between a parent and child is very strong and should be nurtured. In children with hearing impairment the parents do have a task of trying to understand the child's needs when he/she can not speak comprehensibly. This bond helps in the learning situation as well. Children love to have parents spending time with them and they in turn make efforts to please the parents. Parents can help the child immensely through the difficult phase of hearing aid acceptance, speech and language learning and auditory training. After all the young child spends maximum time at home even if he/she goes to a center for intervention. It is important that the parent tries to carry over the activities at home as advised by the teacher/therapist. Parents must watch the intervention sessions carefully and try to do similar activities at home.
Keep a diary of events and consult your therapist regularly about the activities you did and whether they were appropriate.
Answer: This is a common question especially as professionals insist that the parents must speak a lot to the child. Unfortunately what happens is that the process of speaking less to the child begins soon after the parents realise that their child does not hear. It is natural but you must make an effort to change it.
It does seem difficult to keep talking to a child who does not understand. You feel you are running out of topics. But do remember that if you speak to him he/she will also learn to speak as time goes on. However he/she must first begin to understand the language before he/she makes progress in speaking the language. He/She will show interest if you speak to him from the front. He/She will understand a lot from your facial expressions. Talk about what he/she is doing or what you are doing as it is happening. This will cue him further. Use games, photos, pictures or any objects that interest your child. Children love imitating mothers, so your daily routine activities like rolling chapaties, sorting vegetables, washing and folding clothes, dusting and cleaning are excellent opportunities to communicate and help your child learn speech and language.
Often parents find such activities frustrating mainly because at the end of the activity/day they expect the child to show a significant progress or speak something. This is impractical. Each day like this is a drop in the ocean of learning. So patience is important. Remember that this is equally difficult for your child. At the end of the day he/she does not even understand why you are not happy with him. Therefore talk to the child.
Answer: He/She can lead a normal life. He/She will have to use a hearing aid or assistive devices which will help him lead an independent life. He/She can also avail the Government facilities & concessions for disabled persons.
Answer: A person with hearing impairment can be trained for any job provided he/she has the skill for it. Early training in childhood ensures good language ability. This in turn helps the person to go to higher educational levels. There are exclusive vocational training and placement centers across the country. Refer to topic on Employment and vocational training for details.
Answer: Yes, a hearing impaired person can marry & lead a normal life. There are however some cases in which hearing loss is due to hereditary/genetic reasons. In such cases, genetic co unselling is necessary when the hearing impaired adult wants marry.
Answer: No, not unless his/her hearing impairment is due to genetic reasons. If there is a family history of hearing impairment or the person has a syndrome (eg: Wardenburg's syndrome), it is necessary to seek genetic counselling to evaluate the risk of hearing impairment in the progeny.