To properly develop speech a child needs to meet various and vital conditions. One of them is a good hearing. Children diagnosed with hearing loss, may be provided with modern hearing aids, which increase the scope of the hearing, so the patients with mild and moderate hearing loss may capture the language almost completely.
For children with a significant or profound degree of hearing loss, it is recommended to use more powerful hearing aids series, like SuperPower or UltraPower.
Getting the right hearing aid
Currently, on the market, there are many hearing aids dedicated to children.
The first and most important factor when getting a hearing aid is the result of a hearing test. For children under 3 years of age, audiologist picks the hearing aid based on AI, OAE, ABR, VRA tests. Children over 3 are additionally examined based on other tests including a reflex and play audiometry, which is performed with cooperating children. This test allows determining the child’s hearing level separately for the right and left ear. The hearing test result determines what power should the hearing aid have for a particular child, to provide a comfortable level of hearing reinforcement. On this basis it is defined, what kind of systems hearing aid should include extracting significant sounds in the best possible way. ie. a speech to other confounders present in everyday life.
- Another factor which should be considered when selecting hearing aids is child’s hearing reactions in the particular hearing aid. These reactions are evaluated and verified on the basis of the VRA test (Visual Reinforcement Audiometry) designed for children aged 6 months to around 2 to 3 years old. This test specifies the correct response for each frequency range from 125Hz to 8kHz, responsiveness and lack of undesired side reactions showing child’s discomfort.
- The third factor, which should be included in the hearing aid for a child is its compatibility and the ability to connect with devices and hearing assistance systems, such as streamers, remote controls, FM systems. When there is a need of connecting other supporting devices, it is very important the hearing aid provides such an option and does not need to be changed to the different model.
- Another factor is the resistance of hearing aids to dirt, moisture, and dust. In the case of children whose developmental age is often associated with participation in a hostile environment for the hearing aid, it is very important the hearing aid is properly protected against such factors (IP67 degree of protection).
- The last factor is the look of the hearing aid itself. Due to the very high plasticity of the ear of small children, the hearing care professional makes sure the hearing aid’s housing is as small as possible to be comfortable and preventing from ear deformation. However, the size of the housing is connected to the degree of hearing loss. There is an unwritten rule that the greater the hearing loss, the bigger the hearing aid is necessary.
The hearing aid may be a very interesting gadget for your child. By choosing the color of the case and the ear hook, or by picking the unique earmold or by using various stickers the attractiveness of hearing aids for your child may be truly enhanced.
For a child with a diagnosed hearing loss, there are many factors involved in normal development of hearing and speech. In addition to the whole process of selecting a hearing aid, it is very important not to lose sight of the need for rehabilitation of hearing and speech from the first days the child is wearing the hearing aid.
FREQUENCY MODULATION (FM) SYSTEMS
FREQUENCY MODULATION (FM) SYSTEMS HELP EVERY CHILD HEARING IN A LARGER GROUP, IN THE CLASSROOM, WHILE WATCHING TV OR WHILE HAVING FUN WITH PEERS.
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Author: Aleksandra Stojak