3 Questions to Ask Your Child’s Audiologist
As a parent, it’s scary to consider the effects of a hearing impairment on your child’s development and future. With modern treatment options provided by an audiologist, children with hearing conditions don’t have to suffer from developmental delays, endangered safety or living with less than adequate hearing. Many people visiting an audiologist’s office with their child have never experienced hearing problems, so it’s normal to feel uncertain. To fill in knowledge gaps and boost your reassurance, be sure to ask your child’s audiologist the following questions.
1. What kind of hearing loss does my child have and how severe it is? Please explain the terms to me.
Words like sensorineural, conductive and auditory neuropathy are foreign to the everyday person. If your audiologist is explaining your child’s hearing condition and these terms pop up, be sure to ask for definitions and simplified explanations. The more you understand about your child’s hearing condition, the better prepared you’ll be to stay involved in the treatment process and help them get the right care for years to come.
2. Is my child’s hearing condition permanent and will it change or get worse?
Some hearing conditions children are born with can be treated with surgery and therapy, while others will continue to require treatment and monitoring throughout the child’s lifetime. Your audiologist may not have all the answers for how your child’s body will respond, but they have the best knowledge and experience base to give you a realistic outlook and provide the most comprehensive treatment options as your child grows and his hearing needs change.
3. How will the hearing loss affect my child’s speech and language development?
If caught early enough, hearing conditions don’t have to interfere with a child’s early speech and language learning. The longer a hearing condition goes undiagnosed and untreated, the harder it will be for a child to make up for lost time, even after they receive surgery, hearing aids and speech therapy. Your audiologist will be honest with you about how your child’s hearing condition may or may not affect them as they grow older.
Discovering your child has a hearing problem isn’t easy, but with the right treatments, therapy and counseling from an experienced audiologist, children can live healthy, normal lives despite it. Seek out the answers to these questions during your first visit to make sure you’re ready to help your child in every way possible.