How do you teach a child who is deaf to talk?
By combining proven auditory-verbal educational methods with the use of advanced hearing technology such as state of the art hearing aids and cochlear implants, almost all children with hearing loss can learn to rely only on listening and spoken language. Technology provides children with necessary access to sound while special education by highly trained professionals allows a child to make sense of that sound and use it to learn and communicate, especially when a child's hearing loss is detected within the first months of life.
Are all the children who attend Listen and Talk profoundly deaf?
No, we work with children with all degrees of hearing loss, from mild losses which without newborn hearing screening often go undetected, to profound losses in which a child is unable to hear any level of speech. Additionally, children at Listen and Talk may have unilateral (one ear) or bilateral (both ears) hearing loss.
What types of amplification do children with hearing loss use?
The type of amplification used by a child depends largely on their level of hearing loss. Some children use hearing aids to help amplify sound. Others who do not benefit from hearing aids may have cochlear implants. Many children have a personal FM system, which works with a person's hearing aid or cochlear implant to overcome the negative effects of background noise, distance, and reverberation.
Can a child with a hearing impairment learn to talk while using hearing aids or is a cochlear implant necessary?
Children with all degrees of hearing loss can use hearing aids, a cochlear implant or a combination of the two to gain access to the speech and sounds that help them learn how to talk. Strong partnerships between families, teachers, and audiologists are essential to maximizing the potential of technology to help a child with hearing loss learn how to speak. Some children will achieve the goal of understanding and using spoken language with hearing aids and others get greater benefit from a cochlear implant. A child's team will work together to ensure that the technology worn provides the auditory access necessary to develop spoken language.
Can a child who has a hearing impairment and has been learning sign language learn to talk?
Every child and family is unique, so our team of experts evaluates each child's situation on a case-by-case basis. Some children do start learning to communicate with sign language, and that does not preclude them from making a transition to spoken language. Conversations with other families and speech and hearing professionals are important when making decisions about how a family will communicate.
How many kids are born with a hearing loss?
More than 3 in 1,000 children are born with some degree of hearing loss. It is the single most commonly occurring birth anomaly in United States. In Washington State, the Department of Health estimates that between 86-500 babies are born each year with a hearing loss.