If your child is diagnosed with hearing loss, it’s important to start specialist services as early as possible. But managing all the new information, the different health professionals, and all the appointments can feel daunting. Don’t worry though – Can:Do 4Kids is here to help.
In many cases, you and your child will work with a whole team of dedicated healthcare professionals to determine the best course of action. These may include audiologists, speech pathologists, listening and spoken language specialists and social workers.
However, each specialist recognises that the most important member of a therapeutic team is you. As parents and carers, you understand your children better than anyone and know what will and won’t work for your family.
A combination of different therapies can be used as part of early intervention or ‘E.I’, for example:
- Listening and spoken language specialists can support developing spoken language skills.
- Occupational therapy can help with fine motor skills, play and self-help skills such as dressing and toileting.
- Speech pathology can help with speech, language, eating and drinking skills including chewing, sucking and swallowing.
- Social work can help with forming relationships, coping with emotions and learning behaviours and skills.
- Teachers of the Deaf can support in educational settings with problem-solving skills, self-advocacy and assistive technology.
What does it mean if my child failed the newborn hearing screening?
In South Australia, if hearing impairment is identified in your child’s newborn hearing screening, they’ll be referred for further testing to determine the cause and extent of their hearing loss. This may include additional tests, such as auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing or otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing. These tests are typically done by an audiologist and may be done at the hospital.
Can:Do supports a range of language options to meet the needs of your child and family. Your journey can include:
- Speech and language therapy – if your child has some hearing ability, this therapy is designed to improve their spoken language skills, and may be used in conjunction with hearing aids or Cochlear implants.
- Total communication – this combines sign language/Auslan, spoken language, and written language to provide children with a variety of communication options.
- Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) – teaches children who are unable to use spoken or signed language to utilise communication boards or other devices to express themselves and interact with others.
We understand that every child is different, and therefore, their unique needs and abilities should always guide the approach and services they receive, to help them develop the skills they need to engage meaningfully in school, home and community.
Can:Do 4Kids services for children who are deaf of hard of hearing may include a combination of the following:
- Listening and spoken language therapy
- Group programs
- Speech pathology
- Occupational therapy
- Mealtime and feeding
- Assistive technology
- Educational support