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Audiologic, or hearing, rehabilitation helps people with hearing loss. Rehabilitation, or rehab for short, helps people relearn skills that they have lost. If an older child or adult loses her hearing, rehab can help her learn to hear again.
Babies and young children born with hearing loss have not learned to listen and talk. They need to learn these skills, not relearn them. Hearing treatment for these children is habilitation, not rehab.
Hearing habilitation will include:
Hearing loss can cause problems for your child as he grows. He may have trouble speaking, reading, learning in school, and making friends. What treatment your child needs will depend on:
Treatment will focus on the way you want your child to communicate. Some of the ways include:
It is important to have your child's hearing tested. Early use of hearing aids or cochlear implants will help your child. Children who get help by 6 months old may learn language like children without hearing loss.
An audiologist can help find the best hearing treatment for your child. A speech-language pathologist, or SLP, can help your child understand language, make speech sounds, and use words. Your child may also get help from early intervention or in school.
Your child will need to learn to listen. One of the first things he will learn is the sound of your voice. He will learn sounds in your house. He will learn that sounds have meaning. You can help by naming different sounds for him. You can say, "Listen, I hear the dog. He barks, 'woof.'" As he gets older, he will learn to tell the difference between speech sounds. For example, he will learn that "b" sounds different than "m."
Babies and young children need help with their hearing aids or cochlear implants. You will need to know how to take care of and use the aids. As your child gets older, she will need to take care of her own devices.
To find an audiologist near you, visit ProFind.