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Make back to school after break easy with these tips

Contributed by | Monday, January 5th, 2015

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The holidays have come and gone. That means it's time for the kids to head back to school after a long, blissful break of sleeping in, watching TV and playing with new gadgets and toys. The last thing they want to do is go back to school.

Can you really blame them? Alas, all vacations must come to a close. If your children have hearing loss, or if you recently discovered they have hearing loss, take note of a few ways to help transition them back into a classroom environment.  

winter break and hearing loss
With kids heading back to school after a long
winter's break, prep your child beforehand to 
allow a smooth transition!

Back-to-school hearing supplies

In addition to the new set of pencils, erasers and notebooks, if your child wears a hearing aid, you will also need supplies like hearing aid batteries and an emergency cleaning and repair kit. Your child might want a little pizzazz for his or her hearing aid too, so check out what colors and accessories could add a little fun to your child’s outfit. Children should be encouraged to show off their hearing aids and embrace their hearing loss as a positive difference, not a negative one that they have to hide. Buying different accessories they can change with their clothes is a fun way to instill a little confidence in your child.

Prep your child

The best possible person to handle your child’s hearing loss is your child. Educate him or her on what options are available to them to ease the struggle of trying to hear in an open classroom. Tell them they can reach out to the teacher or other faculty if they’re having trouble, either with hearing during lectures or dealing with a school bully. Make sure they’re capable of taking care of their hearing aids as well, and try to teach them how to make small common repairs, like cleaning out built-up wax or dirt, or changing the batteries.

Talk to the administrators

The principal and other administrators should know about any special needs your child might have. Show them the same basic repairs you taught your child, so they can help in the event your child forgets. Check with the school nurse to see what hearing aid equipment she has on hand in case of an emergency. You should be able to leave additional hearing aid batteries or a repair kit with her should your child need it.

Check in with teachers

Since teachers are the ones who spend the most time with your child throughout the day, it’s especially important they not only know about your child’s hearing loss, but how to work with it. Ask to have your child assigned to the front of the class to help avoid hearing issues, and give the teacher your direct contact information if your child starts to struggle. Developing a quick solution can help keep your child from falling behind.

Learn the layout

Get familiar with your child’s school and classroom. Once you know how the room is oriented, it will be easier for you to help devise a solution, should you need, to ensure your child has the optimal learning experience. Solutions may include switching the desks around, moving your child to a different location in the classroom, changing the placement of a TV, or figuring out the best way to set up an assistive listening device, like a Bluetooth microphone.

While your child may or may not be excited to go back to school, you can lessen the blow by preparing them properly. Ensuring they have the right setup to accommodate their hearing loss makes the work easier, and adding a little color or fun to their hearing aids makes them a little more appealing, both to your child and the other kids in the classroom.

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