Frequently Asked Questions
Now that I know my child has hearing loss, what are my next steps?
How do I understand my child's audiogram?
How do I communicate with my child?
Deciding how to communicate with your child who is deaf or hard of hearing can be complex. Parents new to this journey may need additional assistance in determining what works best for their child and family. Help is available through professionals, parents, adults who themselves are deaf or hard of hearing and others.
Here are a few additional resources to consider:
EHDI Decision Guide
Hands & Voices: Communication Considerations
The Book of Choice, which includes these Considerations, is available for loan through the MN Hands & Voices lending library for Minnesota parents, made available to families of young children newly identified with hearing loss, and available for purchase through Hands & Voices.
This book is available for loan in the MN Hands &
Voices lending library for Minnesota parents, is made available to families of young newly identified children, or available for purchase through Beginnings, Inc.
How can our family learn sign language?
What is Cued Speech?
Cued Speech is a mode of communication using the mouth and hand to visually distinguish the building blocks (phonemes) of a spoken language to promote the development of language and literacy visually for those who do not receive sufficient input through listening or assistive devices. The cues represent the phonemes of English language.
Hands & Voices: Cued Speech Information
National Cued Speech Association
Where do I find other families like ours?
MN Hands & Voices is a rich, diverse community of families. By becoming active in our social events and educational workshops, parents, children and siblings can meet one another and share experiences. Our FOCUS newsletter is a great way to keep abreast of those opportunities and many more in the community. Your child's Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing can help you link with other families within the same school district and social or educational activities may also be available through your child's school or district. Our Parent Guides are also eager to individually introduce families to one another. Contact your local Parent Guide for more assistance.
If you are a parent or professional acting on behalf of a parent, and would like to be connected to another parent, please complete this form and send it to:
MN Hands & Voices
709 University Avenue West
St Paul, MN 55104
Or send via email to MNHV@lifetrackresources.org
Where do I find help for working with my child's school?
PACER’s mission is to “expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents.” PACER focuses on educational rights, with programs addressing special needs for all stages of childhood and all disabilities. Services include: staff support to answer questions and offer one-on-one help, publications, workshops for parents, legislative information, and a wide variety of programs such as early childhood, multicultural services, Health and Information Advocacy Center, and the Simon Technology Center.
What financial resources exist for hearing aids?
Where can my family find a mentor who is deaf or hard of hearing?
How do I know if a cochlear implant is right for my child?
Considering a cochlear implant for your child is a deeply personal decision. Some families would never entertain the idea, while others actively seek this option, and yet others may feel conflicted. Gathering lots of input from experts (such as your child’s audiologist, both clinical and educational), other families, adults who are deaf, and other trusted sources are all important. Not all children are candidates and many factors need to be considered. Similar to choosing how to communicate with your child, only your family will know if the decision is right. MN Hands & Voices staff can help you get in contact with implant centers, as well as other families and adults who have explored this option.
My child has hearing loss in one ear only. Should I be concerned?
Even though some people believe children with only one good hearing ear (unilateral hearing loss) will be fine, they are not fine.
Children with unilateral hearing loss are ten times more likely to develop learning difficulties when compared to children with two normal hearing ears. Getting information about how to help your child is critical. The good news is there are resources available. See this brochure from the Minnesota Department of Health and consider joining this on-line parent-to-parent community supporting children w/ unilateral hearing loss.
There is also a very active yahoo group moderated by Teresa Kazemir (BC H & Voices) and Chresta Brinkman (CO Hands & Voices). There are many questions about audiology, school issues, microtia/atresia, assessment, social development. Parents must set up a yahoo account to join (free) and then they can elect to see the messages one at a time through their regular email account, a yahoo email account, or received as a daily "digest" of emails, in case there are more than one in a day. The group can be found by clicking here.
How do I make sure everyone, including my child who is deaf/hard of hearing, is included in our family gatherings?
Where can I find a mentor for my child (age birth-6) who is deaf or hard of hearing?
How do I take care of my valuable hearing aids?
A new video about how to take care of your valuable hearing aids is now available. It is called “Daily Use and Care of Hearing Aids” and it has voiceovers and captions.
This video provides information on how to make sure that hearing aids are well-maintained and work properly. The video can be used by hearing aid users, their family members, and service providers such as health care professionals and long-term care providers.
Watch the video at http://media.dhs.state.mn.us/dhhs/HACare/Care_Hearing_Aid/Video_TS/VTS_01_1.vob.
It was produced by the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD).