More than forty million Americans suffer from some type of hearing loss. There are many different things that can cause hearing loss, some of which can be treated with surgery or medicine. There are three main types of hearing loss including conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), and mixed hearing loss.
Maybe more than any year before, 2015 was a breakthrough year for people with hearing loss. We saw tears of happiness in more viral “first time hearing” videos, learned more about how hearing loss affects our overall health, and rejoiced as more deaf people rose to the international spotlight through musical productions and television shows.
Here are some of the top hearing loss stories that defined 2015:
Children with hearing loss benefit from constant conversation. Families can converse during dressing, eating, playing and household chores. Conversations can be short or long. Chats can be child or adult-initiated. When the focus is on his experiences, interests, thoughts or feelings, the child will be more interested. Activities and routines become shared language learning experiences through constant conversations!
It’s rumored that Americans have fewer vacation days than most of our European colleagues, so why waste that precious PTO traveling to places that can’t accommodate your hearing loss? We’ve done some preliminary research for you and discovered five great hearing-friendly destinations for you to visit. All you have to do is make the reservations. Don’t forget to request any special accommodations you may need – such as sign language interpreters – well in advance of your travels.
You will want to read the full article at Family Educational Services Foundation. If your child doesn’t show any or some of the following signs, you should definitely get your child’s hearing tested by your pediatrician today.
From birth to 4 months:
- Calms on hearing a soft sound or a familiar voice
- Startles at sudden loud sounds
- Responds to your voice (coos, smiles or babbles)
- Wakes up to loud noise when sleeping in a quiet room
- Makes vowel sounds like “ooh” by two months
From 4 to 8 months: 3>
- Responds by turning face or eyes towards a sound that can’t be seen
- Tries to imitate sounds by 6 months
- Responds to sounds that can be heard and felt both (not just the vibration of a cell phone)
- Starts making consonants
- Babbles back to self or others who speak to him
- Enjoys the sounds of a shaking rattle or bells or toys that make sounds in general
- Responds to “No” or change in tones of voice
- Squeals or laughs
From 9 to 12 months:
- Responds when called by his name
- Looks where you point
- Starts calling names like “ma-ma” and “da-da”
- Varies pitch while babbling
- Responds quickly to soft sounds like “shush”
- Understands common commands (like “look here” or “come here”) and expressions (like “Bye bye”)
- Points at things like a plane or a bird
- Responds to musical sounds by clapping, dancing or singing along
From 12 to 15 months:
- Uses his own voice to direct or attract attention
- Is able to put a couple of words together
- Listens to stories or rhymes very keenly
- Babbles as if talking
- Follows commands
What has been amazing about our son’s hearing loss journey is the way we have been included and accepted in a community of parents who are also striving to find out what works best for their child.
Social and group support plays a crucial role in a parent’s ability to cope with their child’s hearing loss diagnosis. Increased social support is shown to have a positive effect on stress in families of children with disabilities, specifically those of children who have hearing loss (Lederberg & Golbach, 2002).
Around five percent of the world’s population experiences some degree of disabling hearing loss. That’s about 360 million people, or one in every 20 individuals. Based on these figures it’s likely that either you or someone close to you will experience a hearing impairment at some point in life. Hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from accidents to illness, but while it’s one thing to watch a hearing-impaired character on television, personally losing this sense can be a completely life-altering experience.
Fear. Disbelief. Anger. Uncertainty. Helplessness. These are all very normal reactions when facing the diagnosis of hearing loss. This is true whether you’re a recently diagnosed adult, or the parent of a beautiful newborn. Every individual’s journey is different, but the core response is the same: This news means your life is about to change dramatically.