All parents react differently when they are told that their baby has a hearing loss. Whatever your feelings, there is plenty of support available to you. Your Early Years Support Team will be able to help you, your baby and your family. This team includes your audiologist, a specialist teacher and a specialist doctor. A speech and language therapist and social worker may also be part of the team.
The team will meet with you regularly, and work with you to offer support in a number of ways.
Your audiologist may tell you that wearing hearing aids will help your baby to hear better. If you choose to have hearing aids for your baby, a special mould of your baby's ear will be made. Your audiologist will give you advice about the best way to use your baby's hearing aids. They will not be painful or uncomfortable for your baby to wear. The Audiology Department will offer you regular checks of your baby's hearing and hearing aids.
Children with a hearing loss and their families communicate in a number of ways. Some children will learn to use speech, some will learn to use sign language and some will use a mixture of both. The specialist teacher and other members of the Early Years Support Team will help you choose the best way for you and your baby to communicate. When you have decided this, it is very important to communicate with your baby as much as possible.
Most children with a hearing loss go to local mainstream schools where some may need specialist support. Some will go to special schools for deaf children. The specialist teacher will help you choose the school which meets your child's needs.
State benefits may be available to help you care for your baby. The social worker on your Early Years Support Team, the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS), the Benefits Agency or Citizens' Advice Bureau will be able to give you more information.
The NDCS can give you support and information, and it has a helpline for parents whose children have a hearing loss. Their experienced advisors can help answer any questions you may have.
You can contact the NDCS, on Freephone helpline: 0808 800 8880 (v/t)