Support Groups, Programs, and Apps for Hearing-Impaired Children and Teens
There are many different organizations whose sole mission is to support children with hearing loss. Their services range from support groups and programs to mobile apps. Here is a list of the resources that can be helpful if your child, or a loved one, suffers with hearing loss.
Support for children
Mobile apps make support immediately available to those who need it. The Ida Institute has developed the My World app1 that helps children find ways to talk about their hearing loss during pediatric therapy. Children can populate an online environment with icons that represent family, friends and their favorite things. It’s a type of play therapy that helps children talk with a therapist about how they communicate during the day. The goal is to help children express their feelings about communicating with a hearing impairment in order to learn new strategies.
Hearinglikeme.com2 is a rich online resource of information for the hearing impaired. It covers a range of interesting information with articles like:
- “Deaf and hard of hearing characters in popular fiction”
- “Deaf musicians team with symphony to play an accessible concert”
- “Could a robot help deaf children communicate in the future?”
The website sections support children of all ages, including a special section for teens3. The site also offers entertainment, travel and technology news for the hearing impaired, as well as an interactive, “Ask Anna” section4 for questions and answers about life with hearing loss.
Support for parents
There are many robust resources for parents of hearing impaired children. The Hearing First organization5 is a good example. Its approach is based on promoting listening and spoken language (LSL) skills, which it has developed into a full-blown program. The organization says LSL, “makes it possible for children who are deaf or hard of hearing to learn to listen and talk, which powers language, literacy, and lifetime success.” The site delivers on its promise. It includes tips and support for parents6, information on brain development, and understanding LSL’s relationship to literacy7 for children. Hearing First also presents information on hearing testing and devices8 and how to form beneficial relationships with health professionals and caregivers9.
Hearingloss.org10 has a parent community for support and information. It covers helpful topics such as “Protecting kid’s hearing” and “Teaching mainstreamed students with hearing loss.” The organization has chapters11 around the country and a list of them is posted on the website for easy reference.
Support for educators
Educators need support as well, whether they teach hearing-impaired students only, or integrated classrooms with hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf students. Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss12 is an organization dedicated to providing teachers with the resources they need, including free handouts, professional development materials, webcasts, and advocacy materials.
It’s encouraging to see the many organizations that are dedicated to the success of hearing impaired children of all ages. Taking advantage of these resources can contribute to the success and well-being of children, parents and their teachers.