A Future of Listening and Talking for Babies with Hearing Loss

On This Page, You Can:

  • Discover Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) for children who are deaf or hard of hearing 
  • Hear how LSL helped make dreams come true for other families of children with hearing loss
  • Learn about starting with hearing aids, early intervention, and next steps after diagnosis 
  • Understand how your baby's hearing is important for brain development

Next Steps for Parents After Hearing Loss Diagnosis

Wondering what to do after your child has been diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing? Babies with hearing loss can learn to listen and talk in the language of their home. Thanks to early identification, hearing aids and cochlear implants, and early intervention, the opportunities today for children with hearing loss are better than ever before.

Start with Your Dreams

As a parent, you get to choose what you want for your child’s future as you begin this journey. When you start with the dreams you have for your child, the path becomes clear. If you want your child to listen and talk, there’s a proven path you can follow with LSL.

What is LSL?

LSL stands for Listening and Spoken Language. It’s a research-backed way to teach children who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen and talk — just like kids with typical hearing.

Most likely, you learned to talk by listening to your family and those around you. As humans, our brains are "pre-wired" to learn spoken language by listening. You may think we hear with our ears, but hearing is really about the brain!

When babies are identified with hearing loss early and get the right hearing devices (like hearing aids or cochlear implants), sounds can go directly to their brain. And this means they can learn to listen and talk just like a child with typical hearing. You have what it takes to make this happen with the support of your professional team, including a pediatric audiologist and an early intervention professional.

Children with Hearing Loss are Listening, Talking and Thriving

The diagnosis of hearing loss is often unexpected for many parents. Most babies with hearing loss are born to hearing parents. With early intervention and today's hearing aids and cochlear implants, children who are deaf are listening and talking.

LSL makes it possible for your child to learn to listen and talk in the language your family uses at home. They can attend their local school, play musical instruments, compete in their favorite sports, and so much more. The possibilities are endless. Watch the video to see what the future can hold for children with hearing loss.

The Path to Listening and Talking

Once your child is identified with hearing loss, you’ll want to act quickly! 
Before you get started, you’ll choose what you want for your child’s future and work with your professional team. If you want your child to learn to listen and talk, you’ll follow the LSL path:  

  • Have your child fitted for appropriate hearing technology and wear them during all waking hours
  • Start Listening and Spoken Language (or LSL) early intervention
  • Talk, read, sing, and play every day with your little one to create a language-rich listening environment!

Download the Guide to Your Next Steps

Want to learn more about getting started after diagnosis? Download the Find Your Way Guide for a helpful booklet that outlines your next steps.

I’m Ready to Get Started
Screenshot of the booklet with next steps for parents following their child’s hearing loss diagnosis. Click to download.
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Their Tomorrow Starts Today

Little brains grow based on what they experience, and babies are learners from day one. Your baby learns by absorbing information through their senses and through meaningful interactions with you and other caregivers. What they experience — especially what they hear — builds new connections in their brain and develops listening, spoken language, and literacy skills. In other words, hearing is about your child's brain!

If your baby is deaf or hard of hearing, they need properly fit hearing devices, like hearing aids or cochlear implants. When they hear you talking and interacting with them, it helps build their brain for listening.

Listening helps little brains make the connections that build:

  • Understanding
  • Vocabulary
  • Literacy
  • Problem solving
  • Social skills
  • And more!

The first three years of your baby's life is a critical time for their brain development, especially for learning language.

Top image shows Morgan and Katie posing in graduation gowns and caps. Bottom image is a wedding photo of Connor smiling with his partner.

Stories of Hope

Discover real-life examples of how parents are helping their children with hearing loss do it all. They started right where you are today and will give you the inspiration you need as you help your child with hearing loss reach their full potential. 

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