Hearing Assistive Technology Systems (HATS) for Children

Hearing assistive technology systems, or HATS, help children in school. Audiologists can help find the device for your child.

See Also: Hearing Assistive Technology

Being able to hear can help your child's speech and language development. It can also help with social skills and school success. HATS can help your child hear.

FM systems are the HATS used most often with children. These systems are easy to move around and are not easy to break. They are useful in noisy places, like your child's classroom.

It is good to start using HATS when your child gets her hearing aid or cochlear implant. Your audiologist will make sure that your child’s hearing aid can work with HATS. The hearing aid will need certain features, like:

  • "T," or telecoil and telephone switches.
  • "M/T," or microphone and telecoil combination switches.
  • Direct audio input, or DAI. This allows the aid to connect with assistive listening systems.

Make sure to ask if your child’s hearing aid has these features.

FM Systems in Schools

FM systems help your child in many ways, including:

  • Letting him hear the teacher's voice. The teacher's voice will sound the same no matter how far she is from your child.
  • Making the teacher's voice louder than other noises in the room. A classroom is a noisy place. The FM system lets your child hear the teacher above all of the noise.
  • Letting your child hear her own voice. This will let her speak at a normal level and not yell.
  • Letting your child turn off his hearing aid. This lets him focus on what the teacher says and nothing else.

Other HATS in Schools

Your child's school may use other HATS. Sound-field systems let the teacher talk into a microphone. The teacher's voice comes through speakers placed around the room. This lets all children hear the teacher. However, these systems are hard to use in a room with poor acoustics. Sounds bounce around rooms that have hard tables and no carpeting. It is hard to understand the teacher if his voice bounces around. Sound-field systems need good classroom acoustics.

Sound-field systems help all children, even those with normal hearing. They also help children who are learning English as a second language.

Getting HATS

An audiologist will help find the right system for your child. They can test your child and make sure that the system works for her. They will also help your child's teacher use the system. Your child may have an Individualized Education Program, or IEP. Your child may have HATS included as part of the services needed to help him in school.

To find an audiologist near you, visit ProFind.

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