Welcome! We would like to discuss and answer your questions here about hearing loss, hearing loss device technology, hearing conservation, and any related matters. Please email your questions and comments to: info@vancouverhearingcentre.com

Audiologists at the Vancouver Hearing Centre specialize in hearing loss management, hearing conservation, and aural (re)habilitation. We serve children and adults of all ages in the Vancouver area and from around British Columbia, Canada.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Parent/Teen's Zone: Coping with Hearing Loss

As your coping skills increase then managing hearing loss does get easier!!

Here are a few tips:

Attitude is Everything: Our children mirror our feelings. If you, as a parent, believe that your hearing impaired teen is capable of doing anything they want in life, then they too will believe it!

A Supportive Family: Every member of the family needs to help out your hearing impaired teen( aka. parents, grandparents, cousins, siblings, and close friends). Educate your friends and family about your teen's needs. You may have to remind them to face your teen when talking, rephrase sentences, and to refrain from exaggerated speech. When everyone is on the same team providing guidance and support, your teen will become more confident.

Encourage Your Teen: Don't let your teen make excuses they can't do something. Empathize with them, but don't pity them!

Network: Seek out supports. Find other teens and parents of hearing impaired teens and talk. Compare tips, strategies, and stories. If a teen has hearing impaired friends then he/she can share his feelings and feel part of a group. Join clubs and associations for the hearing impaired. Certain groups offer teen summer programs and club nights that are interactive and fun. Find out what is available in your community. Talk to your audiologist.

Educate: You and your teen will want to learn as much as you can about hearing loss, hearing devices and communication technologies. Encourage the use of closed captioning if necessary when watching television. Encourage your teens to read from newspapers, magazines, books, and search the internet for information so they become more familiar with their world and the resources available to them. Encourage teens to email and instant messaging to allow them to interact with their peers easily.

Be Strong:
Fight for what you believe in and don't let people make generalizations about what your son or daughter is capable or not capable of because of their hearing impairment. Hearing impaired teens can do anything a hearing teen can do by using certain strategies and compromising.

Find Hearing Impaired Role Models: Does your teen want to be a physician, lawyer, dentist, chef, or police officer? There are hearing impaired individuals in all these professions and more! Support your son or daughters dreams!!! Don't discourage. Ask your audiologist if they are aware of a professional with hearing impairment that might talk with your son or daughter about their profession.

Advocate: Encourage your teen to advocate for themselves and to be open about their hearing loss and the limitations it causes. Build awareness in the community or at school about hearing impairment. Teenagers are less inclined to make fun of something when they understand it!

Encourage Participation: Teach your teen to be proud of him or herself. Build your teen's confidence with praise, respectful treatment, and kind words. Encourage your teen to joing clubs and sport teams. If your teen is willing to take risks and be a "joiner", he or she will gain the respect of his/her classmates and be treated like an ordinary teenager.

blogger: Sarah Helmel

Friday, June 4, 2010

Teen's Zone: Encouraging Consistent Hearing Aid Use

One of the most difficult parts about having a hearing loss is managing your hearing loss properly. This is even more difficult as a teenager and for parents of teenagers with hearing impairment who are resistant to hearing devices and have very busy lives.

Managing your hearing loss properly means wearing your hearing devices throughout the day, maintaining and cleaning your hearing devices, and having regular checkups with your hearing health professional to ensure your hearing devices are working effectively. Getting to this point where you can accept your hearing loss, the limitations caused by your hearing loss, and as a result, your need to manage your hearing loss and wear your prescribed hearing devices is often very difficult.

Peer groups usually have more influence over a teenager's sense of well being than parents. Therefore, if the teens' friends are aware of the hearing loss and realize that the hearing devices are necessary for optimal communication, then they can be a powerful support group and deflect negative remarks that could be inspired. The first week of wearing the hearing technology is often the most difficult. It could be similar to wearing braces for the first time. Parents can help this transition by providing a special reward to the teenager to congratulate them for making it through this difficult first week. As well, it is important to thank the ongoing support of peers in this process.

Long term recognition of consistent hearing device use is very helpful for teenagers. It can help reinforce continued daily wear of hearing device technology and is good for a teenager's self esteem. For example, for each grading period that goes by without resistance to wearing hearing devices could be rewarded with an extra incentive(i.e.choice of music, movie, or meal). Your teenager is doing something extra that most of his other classmates don't have to contend with and his courage, commitment, and perseverance to his own future success is worthy of recognition and praise!

As rewards and enticements are useful methods to help maintain a teenager's commitment to managing their hearing loss, discipline is often necessary too. It is important for parents to make it clear from the start how much you value the teenager wearing the hearing devices, keeping the devices in good condition, and the consequences for willful neglect or damage of the hearing devices.

blogger: Sarah Helmel