As the parent of a baby with hearing loss, you may find yourself feeling alone and isolated. You may have never met anyone with hearing loss and you probably have a lot of questions. You may want to connect with others who can share their experiences and who understand your LSL goals.
Your community is likely to include members from your extended family, close friends, or your faith community. You may want to expand your community of support to include parents of children with hearing loss and young adults who are deaf or hard of hearing who have learned to listen and talk. In addition, you may find it helpful to further connect to other parents locally through your LSL early interventionist or online through the Internet. Your community of support will be unique to you and should meet your family’s needs.
Your extended family plays an important role in your baby’s life. The better they understand key information, the more equipped they’ll be to effectively support you in teaching your baby to learn to listen and talk. They’ll need to understand that the ears are the doorway to the brain and that your baby will need to wear their hearing devices to build the connections in the brain. You’ll also need to explain that you have chosen for your child to listen and talk and what family members can do to help.
You’ll want to tell them about the specifics of the hearing technology your child uses. Explain how your baby’s hearing aids or cochlear implants work so that your family members are comfortable with them and can help you manage them and troubleshoot.
Include your family members in early intervention sessions. They need to learn about your goals and the LSL strategies they can use when caring for and talking to your baby. Your baby will benefit from the consistent and coordinated interactions with all the important people in their life.
Other parents who have chosen LSL for their child can be a tremendous source of support for you. These parents will understand what you are going through in a way no one else can. They are living the experience just as you are. They’ll be able to share the strategies they are using to help their child learn to listen and talk; how they incorporate listening and learning into everyday routines and activities; and how they handle challenges.
Join the Hearing First Family Support Community and connect with other families on the LSL journey. This online space lets Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) families connect, share information and get support from each other. It’s easy to ask questions, find resources, talk about practical tips and post pictures and videos of memories along the way. Everyone here is on an LSL journey and has a story to share!
In addition to finding connections in the Hearing First Family Support Community, your pediatric audiologist or LSL early interventionist may be able to connect you to other families.
Some of the questions you may have after learning your child is deaf or hard of hearing may best be answered by individuals who have grown up deaf or hard of hearing and who use listening and spoken language. Meeting and talking with successful LSL individuals will give you the opportunity to ask questions, learn about their experiences, and see what's possible for your child.
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