With approximately two to three out of every 1,000 children in America born with a detectable degree of hearing loss in either one or both ears, it’s important to know the details of how to prepare your child for a visit to the audiologist if they have hearing problems. Here are some ways to do this and have a safe and fruitful visit.
Do Some Practice Wearing Headphones
One of the things you can do is to have your child practice wearing headphones and earphones or even earbuds. If you want, you can play some music on them, but make sure that it’s not too loud. Since they will need to wear headphones and listen to sounds at some point when they’re at the audiologist’s office, it’s good to make sure that they’re comfortable doing so. Inform them that this is one of the activities that will take place at the audiologist’s so that they don’t have a reason to get scared and feel like everything that will happen is unfamiliar and foreign to them.
Let Them Know What’s in Store
As mentioned, it’s good to give them an idea of what to expect. Don’t just stop at practicing with earphones, however, but take it a step further. Look online to see the different tests that will be conducted, or, if possible, call the audiologist you plan to visit and ask them for a rundown of what to expect during the visit. Share this information with your child in a way that’s easy for them to understand and that won’t leave them feeling apprehensive.
Doing this will take the unfamiliarity out of the process for your child, at least to some extent, and have them go smoothly through the process. With almost 16% of adults in the United States reporting that they have trouble hearing, you could ask around in your circles to find out if there’s anyone with first-hand experience with an audiologist. If possible, invite them over to give your child a first-hand account of the events to expect.
Try to Desensitize Their Ears
If your child’s ears are sensitive and not used to being touched when they visit the audiologist, they’re likely to have a hard time. When you know that you need to take them to the audiologist, therefore, try to gently desensitize their ears as early as possible. Get them used to having their ears touched and it will be easier for everyone when it’s finally time for the examination. Play pretend ear doctor with them and take turns examining each other’s ears, involving anyone else in the family who wants to get involved. This will help take the edge off the experience for your child when it’s finally time for the actual visit.
Stay Calm and Reassure Them
Finally, your child will be looking to you for comfort and reassurance, so put aside any anxiety you may have and be strong for them. Showing courage at this time will help them stay calm throughout the process and the visit will likely be a successful one. To make sure you don’t have issues weighing down on you, prepare for the process yourself well in advance. Make sure that matters like payment and insurance are dealt with and won’t lead to undue stress at the last moment. With Medicaid meant to serve individuals with low incomes, it does have fairly strict eligibility requirements. Ensure that you meet them all if this will be your preferred method to pay and you will have fewer worries on the material day of the exam.
With these tips, you can prepare your child for their visit to the audiologist and have it go through without a hitch.