How do I know if my son's hearing aids are working properly?
Certainly providing functioning, reliable amplification for children is one of the most important keys to success. This is both the responsibility of the parent and the pediatric audiologist. For parents, it is important to have a kit of tools for doing a listening check and troubleshooting the hearing aids. This kit should include a listening tube or some other device for listening to the hearing aids with the earmolds attached to confirm a clear consistent sound quality. It may also be helpful to have such things as a battery tester and earmold blower to clean and troubleshoot the devices. From a more functional standpoint, it is a good idea to have a routine listening task that the child can do with the hearing aids on. This task will need to be age appropriate and will evolve as the child's listening skills develop. It might be repeating a series of sounds or words to confirm that the hearing aid is functioning and the child has not experienced a dramatic shift in hearing.
Children should also be followed by their pediatric audiologist every four to six months. These check-ups will among other things include evaluating the aids with special equipment to confirm that they are functioning appropriately. Periodic functional measures will also help to document development of auditory skills. Adjustments will be made at these appointments to meet current audiometric and communication demands.