A good role model – someone you can identify with and look up to – can be a powerful influence in anyone’s life. Finding a role model as an adult might be a bit more difficult, but for kids, inspiration can come from many different places.
That’s exactly what happened for Anthony Smith, a four year old boy who decided he didn’t want to wear his hearing aid anymore because that just wasn’t something that superheroes did. To make sure, his mom emailed Marvel. The response was a picture of Hawkeye, a superhero with hearing loss, and Blue Ear, a specially created superhero whose hearing aid looks just like Anthony’s. You can read the full story here, but the end result is a young boy who’s proud to wear his hearing aid and tell all his friends about Blue Ear.
As touching as this story is, it’s also a good illustration of how a parent or even an audiologist can change a child’s perception of his hearing loss. Hearing aids especially don’t need to be those boring, ugly, beige set ups that adults prefer. They can be colorful, fun, and most importantly, useful.
Superheroes, princesses, athletes, anyone really, can be a role model. None are more important, however, than a young boy or girl’s parents. Here are some other things you can do to help change the perception of your child’s hearing aids:
- Always have a positive attitude. Sometimes the hearing aids will be a pain. They can (will) get lost, and need cleaning, maintenance, and batteries. Try not to show any frustration you may feel when dealing with the hearing aids, as your child will pick up on it.
- Divert Attention. Kids tend to want to play with things and may have trouble avoiding the urge to consider their hearing aid a toy. If it feels uncomfortable, few children will be able to resist pulling it off. So especially while they are getting used to a new earpiece, keep their hands and minds occupied on other things.
- Talk Incessantly. If you are talking to your children they will naturally want to hear you. When they learn they can hear you when their earpiece is in, they’ll want to wear it. It’s a simple, effective way to demonstrate the usefulness of the new device.
We love working with our young patients, and our old fashioned service extends to children three years of age and older. Parents learning to deal with their child’s hearing impairment don’t need to feel overwhelmed. You can find a role model of your own at Schneiker Audiology.