Wellness as it relates to hearing loss can take several different forms, especially when it involves a parent caring for, and makes decisions on behalf of, a child.
First, peer and family support can be critical in reducing stress and supporting mental wellness. Support groups are often run by schools and centers which focus on helping people with hearing loss. In addition to offering empathetic listeners and expert speakers, support groups also foster discussion which can help solve problems and remove stumbling blocks. Other parents who have lived through the same problems are best positioned to provide practical answers to frustrating situations like keeping hearing aids on little ears, lobbying insurance companies, and influencing decision makers at the school district.
Open and positive relationships with professionals such as doctors, audiologists, speech therapists and teachers are also crucial in supporting the wellness of a child with hearing loss. Parents of children with hearing loss are thrust into the difficult role of helping to monitor and report on how well a child is hearing and communicating in diverse situations. Parents are with the child most often and are in the best position to observe them and convey information between professionals. These exchanges of information may lead to critical discoveries which enable a child to hear and ultimately communicate more effectively. It is important to keep notes and share any information that could be relevant. For example, something subtle seen in a speech session, could enable an audiologist to detect a progressive loss.
The role of a parent of a child with hearing loss can be daunting, but many resources are available. Various resources are available through schools and audiology clinics. Online resources are also available. The more people a parent has on his or her side, the more manageable the climb!
Article written by Hadley Haas