Today, children who are deaf or hard of hearing are communicating just like their siblings and friends with typical hearing. There’s a proven path you can take for your child to learn to listen and talk. Through early detection, appropriate hearing devices, and prompt Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) intervention, children are excelling at the same rate as their hearing peers. With LSL, your child can learn to listen and talk in your family's home language, go to their local school, play music or sports, go to college, and work in the job of their dreams.
During the first three and a half years of a child’s life, the brain builds a foundation for learning language. Hearing is critical for overall brain development so it’s important that you know the status of your baby’s hearing. Usually, babies are screened at the hospital shortly after birth and the results determine the next steps. If your baby didn’t pass the newborn hearing screening or you’re concerned about hearing loss for any reason, have their hearing screened again as soon as possible.
Every day counts for a baby’s brain development and what they hear builds new connections in their brain. If you’re worried about your baby’s hearing, make an appointment with a pediatric audiologist right away. These specialists are hearing doctors for children and they’ll conduct a full pediatric hearing evaluation, which could lead to a diagnosis. Learn the status of your baby’s hearing as soon as possible so they won’t miss the sounds and spoken language that surround them.
Today, there are hearing devices specially designed for little ears. Your pediatric audiologist will fit your baby with the right devices for their hearing loss. When your baby wears their devices every day, they’re accessing all the sounds of speech they need to learn to listen and talk. Act quickly so your baby won’t miss a moment of what you have to teach them.
Learn About Hearing Devices for Babies
You’re the most qualified person to make decisions for your baby. You’ll decide if you want your baby to listen and talk. LSL offers a set of strategies and techniques to learn spoken language through listening. With LSL, children who are deaf or hard of hearing are excelling at the same rate as their hearing peers. Enroll in LSL early intervention and get the right skills to help your baby learn to listen and talk.
Parents play a key role in teaching their baby to listen and talk. You already have a lifetime of language experience to be your baby’s first teacher. When they wear their hearing devices all waking hours, your baby can learn from everyday interactions with you and your family. When you talk, read, sing, and play together, you’re growing their brain and teaching them how to listen and talk.
Remember that you’re not alone on this journey. We often hear how much families value connecting with other parents who understand what they’re going through. Learning from their experiences — how they felt after a diagnosis, why they made certain choices, and how they work with their support team — can give you the hope and confidence you need to provide the most support for your child.
Inspiring Stories from Families on Their LSL Journey
Our Podcast Explores the Perspective of LSL Families
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Outstanding Website: HearingFirst.org
Best Advocacy Website: StartsHear.org