DPDC Discussions: Hearing aids – Do you encourage or force your child to wear them?

Question: My child is four and she does not wear hearing aids at her mainstream school. They don’t seem to benefit her and she always takes them off. We don’t believe in forcing the aids on her though they are always available.  What does everyone do re hearing aids, do you encourage/force your child to wear them?

One parent says that their child didn’t want to wear hearings aids, but then one day when he/she was six, he/she one day out of the blue decided to wear them, and is now nine and has worn them everyday since and makes great use of them.

One parent says that they really do not like the attitudes of the audiologists who are very pushy. When his/her baby was blinking every time in discomfort when there was a sound it was obvious that the hearing aids were too loud, so the child no longer wears them.

One parent spoke about the eagerness of audiologists/ToDs to discuss implanting their child. CI’s are nearly always mentioned in audiology appointments. The majority of the parents in the room believed that it is important to make your child part of the decision re wearing hearing aids, and that it was important to follow your child’s wishes.

The majority of the parents spoke about having pressure from their Teacher of the Deaf (ToD) to get their child wearing hearings aids as early as possible. One parent spoke about being pressurised by their ToD to make their two year old wear hearing aids in the taxi to school, at school and in the taxi home. One day the child took a battery out and swallowed it. Clearly the child was not ready, the parent was angry with the ToD and it was then agreed that the child did not have to wear hearing aids in the taxi to and from school.

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2 thoughts on “DPDC Discussions: Hearing aids – Do you encourage or force your child to wear them?

  1. Amplification devices do facilitate oral language learning. If the child shows potential to develop near-natural speaking skills–it is in his/her best interest to wear his/her amplification device as frequently as possible to be exposed to and acquire the language being spoken around him/her.

  2. If the child shows potential to acquire oral English and the parents want the child to acquire oral English–parents should do their best to ensure the child is wearing his/hear amplification device at all times. Later on, in the course of the child’s life, the parents can have a discussion with the child–assess his/her academic progress at school using oral English, written English, ASL, signed systems, etc.–and decide if amplification devices are something which the child want to/should continue utilizing in school and social environments.

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