Before you will be able to work on speech/language skills, you need to work on desensitization to the hearing aids.
Encourage all family and educators to get together and make a plan for encouraging the child to wear the aids.
Ideas for encouraging the child to wear them:
- Start by just having the hearing aids present around the child and start talking about them. Read books or social stories about wearing the hearing aids and why it is important.
- Set up a certain number of times per day that the child will be required to wear the hearing aids. Each adult in the child’s life should be responsible for a few times. Example: parents put them on once in the morning before school and once in the evening before bed, teacher puts them on once in the morning and once in the afternoon, speech therapist puts them on once each time they come to speech,
- Each time, tell the child “it’s time to wear the hearing aids” before starting.
- At first, make sure the child is distracted by something else at the moment and put them on and then immediately take them back off. Do this consistently until the child doesn’t mind them going on and coming off (doesn’t throw a fit).
- After the child tolerates that, put them on and then make sure the child is distracted by a very fun or motivating activity and leave them on for increasing lengths of time.
- Gradually increase the length of time the child wears the aids.
- Once the child will wear them during fun, distracting activities, start introducing less fun activities while the child is wearing them (like working on speech work)