Thursday, September 11, 2014

Suggestions Before School Starts For Parents of Children With Hearing Loss

Teacher and Staff In-Service Meetings

 It is important to get your child involved whenever possible. This can include having your student talk and present with you depending on their age, contribute slides to the PowerPoint, or create a media presentation  to introduce him/herself. 

Playing simulations is a great way for staff and other students to “experience” hearing loss. This link from Karen Anderson contains many resources including simulations of a variety of losses with hearing aids, cochlear implants, and with and without FM. The Unfair Spelling Test for elementary students and adults is interesting are everyone is always surprised at their results.

Student In-Service Meetings

Sometimes it is beneficial for your child to present their hearing loss and needs to his/her classmates. Such projects and presentations can easily be tied to self-advocacy objectives. These presentations can be supported by books or posters made by your family, PowerPoint presentations, or multi media presentations. Inclusion of simulations of hearing loss and model hearing aids and cochlear implants enhance this experience for the other students. 

Important People at School 

Find out who is on your child's team! Be sure you introduce yourself not only to the classroom teacher, but also to the receptionists, administrators, “specials” teachers, cafeteria staff, librarian, school nurse, IT department and anyone else you meet in the hallways!   The more people your child and you know now, the easier it will be when you inevitably need their help later in the year.


  • Be sure you have recent audiogram, speech perception testing and CI programming 
  •  Know who the managing audiologist as well as the FM audiologists are and have their contact information available (for some students this is the same person, for others FM is managed by a separate audiologist).
  • Ensure that there are listening and equipment checks scheduled and all amplification is working properly. Identify the person at each school who will be trained to perform listening checks. Set a date for that training!
  • Identify where the FM will be stored at each school and who will be responsible for charging it. This is often the student’s job but for young children or students with additional needs, an adult may have to oversee this task.

Share Your Contact Information

Be sure everyone at the school knows how to get in touch with you in case problems arise. Find out how they prefer to be contacted. . Relationships matter and first impressions go a long way, so keep it positive and emphasize the collaborative aspects and mutual benefits of this new relationship


Set Up A System For Home School Communication:

This can be informal and as simple as identifying whether people prefer to communicate over email or by phone. Some younger students may also have a communication notebook for staff and parents to write in. Especially in the first few weeks, be sure sure you are included in the relevant communication with staff and check in with them regularly. This helps alleviate stress as parents you are in the loop and know what is happening at school.

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