Whenever your child enters the care of someone else, it is your job to provide that person with the information they need in order to best care for your little one. When your child has a hearing loss, it is particularly important to let others know how to help them hear best. Whether it is daycare, preschool, or a babysitter…here is a list of items and information that would be helpful to pass on.
Provide your child’s caregiver with an extra listening kit so they can check batteries, change batteries, and do simple troubleshooting. Also, provide your caregiver with Device Troubleshooting Checklist. Most manufacturers have a quick guide you can print out. Here are some suggested items to include in your listening kit based on your child’s listening technology:
- Hearing Aid(s): spare batteries, battery tester, air blower, pick and brush to clean wax from ear mold, listening stethoscope, travel dry aid container
- Cochlear Implant(s): extra batteries, device remotes/connects, spare tape, travel dry aid container.
- BAHA: spare batteries, magnet to remove batteries, test rod, battery tester, travel dry aid container
Offer a short training so that you can review troubleshooting procedures with caregivers. Let them practice with the actual device if possible. If you don’t feel comfortable with troubleshooting, ask your audiologist or early intervention provider to review the steps with you. In addition, sometimes your child’s early intervention provider can come to your child’s daycare or preschool to do training with the teachers directly.
Here are some considerations that you might want to pass on to your child’s caregiver.
Tips for reducing noise in the classroom. Closing windows, putting tennis balls on the feet of chairs, adding rugs, hanging artwork on walls, being mindful about using music during the day.
Tips for optimal communication. Making eye contact, gaining attention prior to speaking, ensuring listening devices (e.g. Cochlear Implants, Hearing Aids, BAHAs) are worn and functioning properly during all waking hours.
Tips for teaching. Use of animated facial expressions and props/objects to provide visual support of target concepts, preferential seating during group times, providing parents with books and target vocabulary ahead of time so that pre-teaching can happen at home.