Every year, more and more newborns and young children are diagnosed with hearing loss. That’s because early detection is the key to providing a better quality of life for these little ones. It also allows for early intervention, something that can make as much difference as the hearing aids themselves.
Only a licensed audiologist should conduct a hearing test on young children. So when you take your child for a hearing test, make sure you do these things to prepare your child for it.
1. Feed Your Young Child Before the Test
A child’s appetite directly affects their behavior, especially when they are in an unfamiliar environment or around strangers. And this also goes for hearing tests. If a toddler is hungry, chances are, they might not perform well on the test. So it’s best to feed them beforehand or give them a snack during the test.
2. Tell Your Child What’s Going On
Whether it’s a visit to the doctor or any other activity that your child isn’t used to, it’s important to explain to them what’s happening. Let them know that you need to have a hearing test done on them so that their doctor can check them for any hearing problems. Make sure you let them know that the test won’t hurt and that the equipment used won’t be heavy or bulky.
3. Remind Your Child of the Prior Hearing Test
Ease your child into the idea of the hearing test. Tell them that the audiologist is just going to play some sounds and they will have to listen. Once they are comfortable and familiar with the process, they will be ready to go, especially if they are given the privilege of wearing their favorite toy or stuffed animal.
4. Encourage Your Child to Look at the Test Observer
At this age, children can get frustrated easily if they don’t understand what’s happening. So make sure to verbally reinforce their behavior by telling them to look at the person conducting the test. It will make the whole process easier for them and they will learn to recognize the process.
5. Praise Your Child for Their Efforts
The more they perform well on the test, the more likely they are to relax and pay attention to what is going on. If they hear any sounds or hear any of the words in the sentences, let them know that they are doing a wonderful job. Positive reinforcement always works well with children.
6. Any Extra Rewards Are Great
Don’t be afraid to offer your child any extra rewards before or after the test. If they have to undergo this test, they will probably go through a lot of discomfort. So once the test is over, you can let him/her choose what they want as a prize. This will also make the whole process fun for them.
7. Go Over the Results with Them
Help your child understand what the test results mean and how it will affect them. If their hearing is impaired, make sure you have a discussion about the treatment options. Also, make sure to discuss with them what can be done to prevent hearing loss.
When it comes to young children, there’s a lot of things to consider. They are still developing and the last thing we want is to affect their cognitive state. So to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible, we have to prepare our children for the test.
At Hear More Associates, we will make sure your child is ready for the test, making it more efficient and fun for them during the free hearing test in Massachusetts. Let us take care of the preparation so we can focus on making your child’s hearing loss treatment as comfortable as possible. Schedule a test for your child today!