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Children and Hearing Loss-Changing The Way We See Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a possibility for any person; it can happen at any age. When people think of the hearing loss, they often think of it as something that only happens to people when they become older in age. Hearing loss can happen to children and even teenagers. Eight percent of people in the U.S. population who have experienced significant hearing loss are under the age of 18. People must understand that hearing loss isn’t age related.
As previously mentioned, hearing loss can occur at practically any age. It is estimated that 15 percent of children between ages 6 and 19 have either high or low frequency hearing loss. Children who have experienced hearing loss will likely have trouble with verbal communication, word order and grammar in school. Children can wear hearing aids as an option or learn sign language to improve their ability to communicate. Sign language allows a person to communicate with others when a person is hard of hearing or has become deaf.
Children suffering from hearing loss may be bullied by their peers as a result of their condition. Adversity resulting from hearing loss shouldn’t discourage children from pursuing their dreams. Inspirational stories from people like Thomas Edison and Tamika Catchings show how people can persevere. Thomas Edison, a businessman and successful inventor, lost his hearing at the age of twelve. Edison developed a positive attitude and learned to embrace this impairment. He began to concentrate on his work and experiments, inventing the phonograph, carbon microphone and incandescent light bulb. Tamika Catchings, a six-time WNBA All-Star player and Olympic Gold Medalist, lost her hearing at a young age. The hearing impairment motivated her to work hard on the basketball court and helped her navigate the bullying she experienced as a result of her hearing loss.
EarQ, a company who is a supplier of hearing aids, has launched a campaign called HearStrong to raise awareness and address the social stigmas of hearing loss. The campaign identifies role models who encourage people to pursue their endeavors despite their hearing impairments. These “HearStrong Champions” aim to change how people perceive individuals suffering from hearing loss.
A person who has become deaf or hard of hearing should know that there are no limitations for people with hearing loss. Children should be tested regularly for hearing loss and take steps to preserve their hearing. Parents with children who have loss their hearing should be prepared to help their children embrace the condition and understand that they are no different from other children. With the right knowledge, technical resources and attitude, any person with hearing loss can go on to do great things.