High school is an exciting milestone but socialising can be a struggle if your child is reluctant to wear a hearing aid. Many kids worry about standing out from the crowd, keeping up in class or taking part in extra-curricular activities like sport or music. Helping them through these issues can be tricky. Luckily, there are support options available that can help them have a great experience in high school – both in the classroom and with their friends.
Surrounding your child with supportive peers and staff, and empowering them to advocate their own hearing needs, will ensure a smoother transition through each high school year.
So, where you can find support?
Department of Education
The Department of Education in each state provides support for students with hearing loss in mainstream schools. At the start of each school year, you can meet with your child’s school and create a support plan based on their individual needs. This could include:
- regular itinerant support from a visiting specialised teacher
- private support services working within the classroom environment
- teachers using remote microphone technology to reduce background noise and provide better sound clarity for your child
- access to a specialised hearing unit and facilities in some mainstream schools
- noise reduction adjustments to the classroom environment
- specific seating arrangements for your child.
Use the links below to find more information about the public-school services websites in your state:
NSW VIC WA QLD NT ACT TAS SA
Online support groups
There are many support groups online that provide a network and community for older children with hearing loss.
It’s really important for children with hearing loss to have contact with others in the same situation, says Alison King, Principal Audiologist Paediatric Services at Australian Hearing.
No matter how well they’re managing with their hearing loss, most children benefit from being able to chat with others like them.
Here are some online resources that provide support and connection.
- Hear for You is an online community for teenagers with hearing loss that allows them to connect with peers and form friendships. It aims to show teenagers that a hearing loss doesn’t have to be a disadvantage.
- Deaf Children Australia is another forum providing support and resources to young people with hearing loss. The useful events calendar is an excellent way of connecting with teenagers and families.
There are also online networks for parents to help you support your child. For example, Parents of Deaf Children offers a range of local parent groups that will give you opportunities to share experiences and learn from others in similar situations.
Helping at home
Though your teenager might deny it, they do watch and learn from you. This means it’s important to model a positive attitude and acceptance of your child’s hearing loss to help them feel more comfortable and confident about it as well.
The below video from Victorian Deaf Education Institute provides some eye-opening insight into the way that other high school students have adjusted and dealt with changing expectations and experiences when they made the transition from primary school. Hearing from other students who have been through similar experiences can help you to determine the best way to support your own child.
If you’d like more information about resources to help you and your child through their high school years, we’re always happy to chat. Click here to get in touch.