GUIDELINES ON HANDLING A CHILD WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENT
Sometimes, a misconception is present in society that says that a child or even an adult who has an implant hears and does not need special treatment. Unfortunately, the case is not that simple. Yes, thanks to hearing implants, people born with severe hearing loss have the possibility to hear and develop properly. However, it should be remembered that a cochlear implant is only a hearing prosthesis and we will never turn a child born with a hearing impairment into a perfectly hearing person. Unfortunately, we cannot overcome certain barriers caused by hearing loss.
So what should one keep in mind when dealing with such a person?
Here are some practical suggestions:
- Maintain eye contact during the conversation and do not cover your mouth with your hand. Do not stand back or sideways to your interlocutor. Remember that a person with a hearing impairment often uses lip movement for support, and has the possibility of using context, emotions, or expression to grasp what he or she cannot hear or understand. In this case, all factors matter.
- Some abstract expressions or words may not be understood by a person with a hearing impairment. It has to be remembered to clarify incomprehensible issues.
- When talking to a child or an adult, regardless of whether they have a hearing aid or implant, try to speak calmly and be patient. Certain messages may get lost when talking fast.
- Do not scold a child with a hearing impairment and do not publicly correct him or her for speech impediments. In this way, you take away his or her courage and achieve the opposite effect.
- When talking to the child, maintain correct forms of expression. Remember that a child learns to speak by hearing, and draws its models from your statements.
- At school, try to mute the room as much as possible, for example using felt pads for chairs to prevent excessive noise from distracting a child with hearing impairment.
- Also remember that excessive ambient noise makes it difficult for a hearing impaired person to understand speech.
- At school, a child with hearing loss should sit at the desk closes to the teacher, and the teacher must remember to keep his or her face clearly visible, illuminated, and speak clearly.
- A teacher working with a hearing impaired child should write the most significant information on the board so that the child does not miss the important messages.
These few tips introduced into everyday life with a hearing impaired person are really of great importance. Therefore, remember and apply them successfully!