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Parents with a child who is deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) have additional considerations before their child heads back to school in the fall. The more parents can get done this summer to prepare their child for the school year the better they can focus on learning.

Health and Wellness Schedule

annual appointments far in advanced during summer break or for after-school to minimize disruptions in your child’s learning.

Well-care Visit

A well-care visit establishes a baseline of your child’s general health with a doctor you can trust. Many children who are DHH have ongoing health issues that can be noted as part of the child’s baseline health. Should your child become ill, the well-care notes along with a doctor who is familiar with your child can streamline a diagnosis for any new concerns.

Update Immunizations

Remember to ask for a copy of your child’s immunization records. This saves time filling out health forms for field trips, activities, emergency health cards, etc.

Medication Check

If your child is on medications have a doctor double-check the dose for their age, weight, effectiveness, etc. Extra time for your child to adjust to changes in medications would be helpful before school starts. Make sure your child’s current prescription is filled and ready before school starts.

 Physical Paperwork

Sports, camps, summer school, etc. often require health forms signed by a doctor. Bringing the forms to their appointment will save time. Doctors can sign forms anytime, but it can take extra time to process.

Visit the Dentist and/or Orthodontist

Schedule appointments sooner than later, because the best times fill up fast.

Vision Check

Children who are DHH need to have optimal vision. An annual eye exam is recommended whether your child wears corrective eyewear or not. If your child has glasses, in addition to checking the lens prescription, check for stretches that can obscure their vision. Make sure their frames are the right size with no pressure points and adjusted to fit properly

Audiologist Visit

Before school starts have your audiologist check the working order your child’s equipment, make sure the program is set for optimal sound and amplification. If possible create a separate program for any auxiliary equipment used at school. Your audiologist can answer any questions and make sure you and your child understand how to change programs, batteries and general care of the equipment. Remember to have your child’s old CI processors and hearing aids programmed as up-to date as possible. Old equipment is a viable backup plan should something happen to their newer equipment.

TIP: Take notes for your school audiologist or bring their contact information to give to your general audiologist. You’ll need to sign an HIPAA form, but then the two can work together on optimizing sound in different learning environments.

Review Insurance and Warranties

Depending on your child’s age, maturity, and many other variables it can be unsettling to send them to school with expensive equipment. Reduce anxiety by having a plan should something happen to their equipment. Most homeowner insurance does not cover this equipment. Talk to your audiologist, check product warranties and contact your healthcare customer service to figure out the most economical insurance coverage available.

At Home

 Find a safe and accessible place to charge batteries and keep equipment

Label everything going to school

Set up a distraction-free place to study and keep extra school supplies.

Have your child memorize their home address and important phone numbers to reach their parents if need be.

Update your contact list to include the bus service, IEP manager, DHH and general ed teacher/s, school nurse, attendance line, food service, etc.

Check the school website for important dates: parent/teacher conferences, school events, and a list of days school is not in session.

At School

Check for a VISUAL alert system and review safety plans with your child.

Check tech devices for captioning capabilities; computers, televisions, etc

See the school nurse if your child has severe allergies or takes medications during the school day.

Visit the school audiologist to touch base about your child’s equipment and the auxiliary equipment used at school.

Send extra CI or hearing aid batteries to use for back-up if needed.

Check your child’s classroom for ways to best accommodate their access to language in each environment.

Together with your IEP team review your child’s accommodation needs with school administrators and, if appropriate, with fellow students.

If your child’s accommodations include interpreters, transliterators or captions make sure there is a backup plan for unexpected absences.

For parents of a child who is DHH there is no one back-to-school checklist that covers personal choices and their child’s unique situation. Develop your own checklist you can add to over time. You’ll have peace of mind and more time for summer fun!

MNHV picnic flyer

Calling on all the Superheroes in the MN Hands & Voices Community!

We know you’re out there! We’ve seen you in action! Adults who are deaf and hard of hearing advocating for change. Parents making huge sacrifices out of love for their child. And our kids…our amazing kids who every day get out there and take chances, dare to be different and bring joy to those around them. These are the superheroes we want to celebrate at the MN Hands & Voices Annual Metro Picnic.

Dust off your superhero costumes, don a cape or mask, or just come as you are and make superhero attire with us. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on your children meeting REAL superheroes and joining our Hands & Voices’ League of Heroes!

Doesn’t get any more magical than this!

Free for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Join us for:

  • Dinner
  • Fun Games
  • Entertainment
  • Face Painting
  • Door Prizes!

Register Now.