Ready, Set, LSL: Know Where You’re Going
By Hearing First Team October 9, 2015
Learn why knowing the outcome you want for your child is so important. Then watch Dr. Carol Flexer, notable pediatric audiologist, explain why families should envision their child’s future to support them in reaching their desired outcomes for their child with hearing loss.
“Knowing the destination or outcome you want for your child who is deaf or hard of hearing will determine what steps or road you need to take now to reach your desired outcome.”
Planning a vacation or fun day trip involves knowing where you want to go and how you’ll get there. You have to know your final destination; otherwise, you might just end up anywhere. Without knowing where you’re going, how would you pack the right clothes, map out the best route, or bring enough snacks?
That same level of destination planning also applies to parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. As a parent you need to determine the destination or long-term goals you want for your child. At Hearing First, we believe starting with the end in mind, such as knowing you want your child to be able to listen and talk with you. This is to ensure you know the path to get there. Think about what you envision for your child’s future as a young adult. To get started, think about your answers to three key questions:
- Do you know the status of your child’s hearing? And do you know all that you can about it? Every parent needs to know the status of their baby’s hearing first. It’s information every family needs so that they can make the best decisions that are right for their family.
- Do you want your child to communicate using the same language of your home? Did you know that over 90% of children who are deaf or hard of hearing are born to hearing parents? Most parents want to communicate with their child in the language that’s most comfortable to them. We believe that families should have the power to choose the option that best fits their individual needs.
- Do you want your child to talk with hearing friends and family, play with neighborhood friends, go to regular school with hearing friends, learn to read, do well in school, and have flexibility to pursue a job or career of their interest? All of these dreams are possible for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing when the right steps are taken early. The earlier a child with hearing loss is identified, amplified, and receiving help, the more opportunities that child will have.
Your answers to these questions will help you make the best decision for your child. Knowing your desired destination or outcome will decide what steps you need to take now. The future may seem like it’s a long way off as you hold your baby in your arms, but the steps you take in the first days, months, and years of your baby’s life are so important. For a child with hearing loss whose family seeks a LSL outcome, there are specific steps that need to be taken to help that child learn to listen and talk.
Remember, what you do today impacts tomorrow. Hearing First is here to help power those tomorrows. We believe in a future where children who are deaf and hard of hearing have the potential to be whatever they want to be. That future is reachable if you know where you’re going, and once you know your destination, we’ll be a connection point for the knowledge, information, and relationships you’ll need to get there.