Learning LSL requires access to all the speech sounds when a child with hearing loss is awake. Learn why proper, constant use of hearing technology is so important for brain development.
During the first few years of life, babies are awake between 7-10 hours every 24-hour period. As the parent of a young infant, there’s a lot for you to focus on in the short moments when your baby is alert and ready to learn. You’re juggling new tasks – diaper changes, feedings, and dressing – and in each moment, you’re learning more and more about your baby.
For an infant diagnosed with hearing loss, there are some other very important tasks that your pediatric audiologist and early interventionist will ask you to add to your daily schedule:
This may seem like a simple list, but when you’re new to both parenting and hearing loss, these tasks may seem like a challenge at first.
Why are these tasks so important?
Babies with typical hearing have access to all the speech sounds. When awake, they’re always listening and that means they’re learning. It’s critical for brain development that babies hear you talking, singing, and reading in the early years. This is the way they learn to listen and talk.
For a baby with hearing loss, having constant access to sound for those same listening and learning opportunities is just as important. So to avoid missing out on critical moments of interaction with you, be vigilant and make sure their hearing aids are on their ears and working properly whenever they are awake.
Keeping hearing aids on little ears can be quite a challenge, but in “baby time,” every minute counts!
Think about your baby’s current schedule.
Is your baby a night owl and awake a lot during the night?
Is your baby a little napper and awake for only short moments of time through the day and night?
Keep it simple.
Every minute counts for your baby to hear all of the sounds of speech for early brain development. To keep that in perspective, it may be easiest to just remember, repeat, and live by this helpful motto: “Eyes Open…Hearing Technology On!”
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