Helpful resources for parents of kids with hearing loss

When your child has a hearing loss, it can feel like a unique and complex experience for your family. And while it’s true that everyone’s experience of hearing loss is different, there are also a whole range of resources and avenues of support that you can draw on.

You can get additional government and school support in the classroom, find kids entertainment featuring great characters with hearing loss and share experiences with other parents online.

Here are some additional resources that will help you and your child.

Books

I’m The Boss of My Hearing Loss - Amy Kroll (2004)

This is an amusing picture book that encourages children to take care of their own hearing devices and to use a range of strategies to promote good communication. Check out the American Academy of Audiology book review.

DVDs

Signin’ Time
This DVD is aimed at parents of children of all hearing abilities, including children with hearing loss. It can also be used by child educators to learn basic signing. The DVD uses an instructional and song format to teach baby signs. It is produced for Australian audiences by Fingers and Thumbs, an Australian not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to “get Auslan out into the community in a playful, fun and entertaining way.”

Speaking from Experience
Young People and Hearing Impairment (DVD and website) 
Produced by RealTime Health in collaboration with Australian Hearing and Aboriginal Medical Service of Western Sydney in 2010, this DVD focuses on the experiences of young people with hearing loss. They discuss how it has affected them, how they cope in their daily life and how family, teachers and friends can help them manage their hearing loss.
The program also has educational resources for teachers.

Online resources

Victorian Deaf Education Institute
This organisation has a number of resources to help prepare children for school, including a story about Blue Bear, who wears hearing aids and is about to start primary school.

Blue Bear Gets Ready for School
Blue Bear’s story (also available as an app) offers fun, interactive steps for getting ready for school and going to school. It includes what to pack in a school bag or lunch box, how to travel and where to locate different school buildings. 

www.headspace.org.au
Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25-year-olds. The service is designed to make it easy as possible for a young person and their family to get the help they need for problems affecting their wellbeing. This covers four core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services.

www.beyondblue.org.au
Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, no matter how old they are or where they’re based. Yourself or your child can reach out via phone, online chat, email or the community member forums, whether it’s just to chat or get advice.

www.kidshelpline.com.au
Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between five and 25.

Hearing aid companies provide resources aimed at helping children understand hearing loss and hearing technology. Here are a few of them:

Siemens 

Phonak 

Oticon  

Apps


ListenApp

Poor classroom acoustics can limit a child’s ability to listen to and process speech sounds. When these abilities are impaired, it leads to an increased risk of poor learning and educational outcomes. To address this, Macquarie University, in collaboration with the NSW Department of Education and the National Acoustic Laboratories, have developed ListenApp for schools, an easy-to-use app for teachers to evaluate the acoustic properties of their classrooms

Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) Apps

This organisation created a series of educational iPhone/iPad and Android apps based around popular nursery rhymes that help children develop their hearing and listening skills, including those that are deaf or hearing-impaired. The app to teach Auslan sign language is very comprehensive.

For more helpful tips, check out our resources for babies and children with hearing loss