As an audiology technician at Listen and Talk, one of the most common questions I hear from parents and providers is, “How do we keep the hearing device(s) on this child?!” Now the question may not always come with this level of drama, but we understand how incredibly frustrating it can be to find something that works.
We know one of the keys to success with Listening and Spoken Language is early, consistent access to speech sounds via the use of hearing technology, however wearing the device to achieve consistent access, is sometimes the hardest challenge to overcome. No matter what age or stage your child is, there are potential retention challenges that may come with wearing hearing technology. Tiny baby ears are not equipped to hold up those heavy hearing aids, active toddlers can be seen with CI processors flowing behind them as they learn to run, preschoolers want to hang upside down on the monkey bars, and older kids want to participate fully in sports without worrying about losing their valuable equipment! So what can we do?
There are many great retention options available depending on what kind of devices your child is wearing and what stage they are in. For the littlest babes with new hearing aids, a pilot cap that fastens under the chin may be a great option. For toddler-aged hearing aid and CI users, an elasticized headband might work best. This can be a great choice for active little ones who don’t mind something on their head. For preschoolers and up, a cord and clip combo work really well. They can be customized with different color cords and cute clips with nearly any character, design, or style your child likes. There are also many different wearing options for CI users, whether it be off-ear, behind-the-ear with an earmold, or some other ear-level retention, and for Bone-conduction speech processor users, there are options like SafetyLine clips or Cochlear’s SoundArc.
One of the best things you can do is…
…Try it out!
Purchasing all of those accessories however, can prove to be costly. At Listen and Talk we’ve created a Retention Loaner Bank for our B-3 and classroom families, which allows providers and families a chance to “try-out” different styles of retention before making a decision to purchase. Many wonderful manufacturers graciously donated samples of their products to help us build our loaner bank including: Ear Gear, GenieBands, HeadbandsForSophia, and Oticon. Other products were purchased to have on hand, like Cochlear hair clips, Oto-clips, and cute clips from The BeBop Shop on Etsy. While others were lovingly donated by families of alum, such as Hearing Henry bands from the Meeuwse family, and hand-made headbands for CIs from Mimi Walker. Having these retention options available allows us to work with families to find out what will work best for their child, not only at school and on the playground, but at home, baseball practice, gymnastics, and beyond. It goes to show that there are MANY options available and once you find the right one, keeping those devices where they belong should be much less challenging! Attention Listen and Talk families: If you are interested in trialing one of the many retention options available for your little one, please contact the Listen and Talk audiology team [email protected] or ask your provider to connect you with our team – we are happy to help!
To explore any of the retention options mentioned before please follow these links:
- For Tie-Style Headbands, Neoprene Swim Bands and Visors visit GenieBands: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Geniebands
- For CI and Hearing Aid elasticized bands visit HeadbandsForSophia: https://www.etsy.com/shop/HeadbandsForSophia or for little ones visit EarSuspenders: https://earsuspenders.com
- For custom clips and cords visit The BeBopShop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/HeadbandsForSophia?ref=search_shop_redirect
- For silicone sleeves and protectors visit EarGear: https://www.gearforears.com
- For CI headbands for boys and girls visit HearingHenry: https://hearinghenry.com
- For Pilot caps for babies visit Hanna Andersson: https://www.hannaandersson.com/shop
- To see Cochlear specific options visit: myCochlear Store: https://store.mycochlear.com/store/index.php/usb2c/cochlear-implants/nucleus-7/device-retention.html
- To see options from Oticon visit: https://www.oticon.com/solutions/accessories#additional