Going to school with new hearing aids: how to help your child

When your child started school, it was a momentous occasion for both of you. Returning to school after getting hearing aids can also feel like a pretty big deal. But there are things you can do to make this transition smoother.

It’s not uncommon for hearing loss to be identified once children are at school. Issues with hearing suddenly become clear when they have difficulty hearing the teacher or completing school work. Diagnosing the problem and getting fitted with hearing aids can at times be a challenging process for both you and your child. The last thing you want are concerns about what it means for school.

You can find general information about introducing hearing aids, but here are some tips for the school debut:

Encourage independence

Work your way up to developing independent management skills. Pick a quiet place and let them know what you are doing. The idea is that they eventually learn how to put the aids on, make any adjustments and remove them without you. Involve them in the daily checks and maintenance as much as you can, depending on their age. They might not look after their hearing aids on their own yet, but it’s a good idea if they can do basic troubleshooting in case something goes wrong at school.

Talk to the teacher

As soon as you can, talk with your child’s teacher about using hearing aids at school. You can let can let them know what your child’s hearing loss means for the way they teach. Things such as sitting at a certain place in the room might make a difference. The teacher may also give you some ideas to make it easier for your child.

Prepare your child

If you’ve ever cringed as your child pointed and loudly asked “why is that man dressed so funny?” in public, you know children are naturally curious and not afraid to lean into that. The questions from other kids will still come, so get them ready to respond calmly. Practice one or two short, neutral responses about hearing aids and what they do. You may want to discuss what to do if they encounter any questions or comments they don’t want to deal with and to let you know if they have any concerns.