Your family journey

What does the future hold for my child?

Everyone reacts differently to the news that their child has a hearing loss.

Never think you are alone and that you are the only person to have a child with hearing loss. Thankfully these days, children can be diagnosed at much younger ages.

Your child needs to get out and experience life. One of the challenges of growing up is working out how to be an independent person with confidence. Life experience is one of the best ways to do this and it’s important for this to start from a young age.

Here are some handy hints on how to help your child live their best life:

  • Keep mixing with your extended family and friends just as you would with any other child.
  • Attend a support group for parents, at which you can share stories and ideas. This allows children to see that there are others who have a hearing loss and gives them the chance to hang out in a friendly, supportive environment.
  • During this time, you could talk to someone who has had similar experiences in their lives. There are trained and experienced support parents available to listen, offer support and share information. See the Parent to Parent Program brochure for further information.
  • Go to the playgroup at your early intervention service. These playgroups offer a good opportunity for children to meet others in small groups and will allow you to gain support from other parents. Learning your child has a hearing loss can be a bit of a shock at first, but it definitely gets better with time.
  • Ask your family support facilitator for a copy of the Queensland Healthy Hearing DVD: Between You and Me: Communicating with your baby.

Questions to help you think about your child’s future

  • What concerns you about your child’s future?
  • How can you help yourself to understand and learn more about these concerns?
  • Would you like some help with this?
  • What future opportunities do you see for your child?

What role do parents and families play?

You may be a bit worried about your child starting childcare, kindergarten or school. Be sure to ask them about what support they can provide, or if there any other services that can help.

You may like to support your child in school – you can volunteer to help, when possible.

It is very important that your child has the opportunity to participate in an educational learning environment that supports their needs and helps them to grow. It’s also vital they develop their language and social skills by interacting with other children in the school and their community.

It’s a good idea to think carefully about what will suit your child best.

Here are some starting questions:

  • Do you want your child to go to a regular childcare centre, kindergarten or school, or to one that specifically caters to their hearing loss? Or, do you want the option of both?
  • What will best cater to your child’s learning needs? Talk to their childcare centre and teachers about how they will help.
  • What other assistance is needed to help your child learn?
  • Most children who have a hearing loss attend a mainstream school.
  • Some children need extra help in the classroom, while others participate in classes specifically tailored to the needs of children who have a hearing loss.
  • Some children who have disabilities in addition to a hearing loss may be best supported in special education units or special schools.

Here are some handy hints on how to choose the best education for your child:

  • Visit schools or centres in your area to make sure you’ve selected the best one for your child and family.
  • Talk to other parents of children with a hearing loss – they can share information which may help you.
  • Every child’s needs are different; always keep your child’s individual needs in mind.
  • Remember that you can always change your mind in the future if you find that the daycare/school is not meeting your expectations or your child’s needs.

Hearing loss and growing confident kids

Stay positive

  • The positive and loving feelings you have for your child are always there, but at times of stress they can slip beneath the surface.
  • While it is much easier to focus on the difficulties and things that are going wrong, try to remind yourself about your child’s successes and build on positive steps they are taking.

Parents, carers and close family all have an important role to play in helping a child with hearing loss to live a fulfilling life. They can do this by:

  • Assisting the child to develop a healthy, positive view of themselves from an early age.
  • Helping the child to develop good coping skills when they encounter difficulties.
  • Encouraging the child to reach their full potential at school and in other activities.
  • Being active role models, so the child can grow to be a healthy, responsible adult.

You can build your child’s sense of self-worth by:

  • Rewarding your child with smiles, cuddles, positive attention, touching, winking and kissing whenever they take even small steps towards positive behaviours you want to see more of, even if they haven’t got it quite right! It’s vital that you show them you have noticed.
  • Showing them that you love and approve of them as much as possible.
  • Thinking about what is great and unique about their personality and telling them that you value these special qualities.

Hear from other families

For further information see the Queensland Hearing Loss Family Support Service Possibilities and Pathways resource.

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Contact us

Queensland Hearing Loss Family Support Service (QHLFSS)

t: 1800 352 075 (toll free)