LSL Tips Make for a Magical Holiday Season, Part 2
By Hearing First Team December 9, 2015
Find yourself stuck in a moment of seasonal stress? Learn tips you can use to ease the overwhelming aspects of holiday events as they happen. Our post will share proven tips for improving your child’s experience this holiday season.
Remember that you can always ask your early interventionist for help planning and creating your holiday game plan.
In our last post, we covered ways to prepare a child with hearing loss for the fun and festivities of the holiday season. These events — and the people we share them with — offer many new opportunities for language and learning, but they also come at the cost of some of our normalcy and routine.
Ensuring your child knows what to expect, and avoiding the pressure of performing for the crowd, can help make the most of the benefits of the season.
Today we’ll cover some of the things you can do during holiday gatherings to ease the potentially overwhelming aspects of the holiday experience for both you and your child.
MAKE LISTENING EASIER IN THE MOMENT
Anticipate the fact that more people in your home or more outings and activities will mean more noisy environments — potentially making listening more difficult.
- Rotate listening partners who engage 1:1 with your child. Close proximity will mean less noise. A family member may take your child to another room to talk or take a walk outside to chat.
- Model the conversation. When gathered together, pose a question to another family member before asking the child. If the child hears both the question and the answer, they will have a better chance of understanding what’s expected. Providing a model in this way makes listening easier.
- Shortcut competing sounds. If you use an FM system at home, consider having other family members wear the device so the sound goes directly to your child’s hearing device.
SEEK HELP AND SUPPORT
The holidays are hard enough without trying to go it alone. Make sure to allow your family to lend a hand.
- Plan for other family members to take photos at the events so that you’ll be in the photos with your child.
- Ask family members to read stories to your child for a different reading experience.
- Show a few other family members how to change batteries, and make sure device is on so that you can have helpers monitoring listening for your child.
CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS!
- Take lots of pictures. That will allow you to talk about the fun moments, build memories for new language that was learned, and have photos to share the next time you need to prepare for a family event.
- Make note of what worked for your family this year. You don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel each holiday season. Make note of what went well, so that you can employ some of the same approaches when the next occasion comes around.
- Consider sharing your experience with other families whose children have hearing loss. You’ll finish the year with a holiday season under your belt — whether it’s your first or your fifteenth. That’s at least one season more than a family whose child will be diagnosed deaf or hard of hearing in the year to come. You don’t have to have it all figured out to have something valuable to share. Mention what you tried and what worked best for you. When we all work together, children who are deaf or hard of hearing have great opportunities to reach their full potential.
With these solid seasonal tips, you can make the most of all the holidays have to offer.
Here’s another valuable resource for holiday planning:
- The Alexander Graham Bell Association has a few more helpful tips for the holidays: Read “Holiday - Tips for Families” by Lynn A. Wood, M.A., CCC-A, LSLS Cert. AVT. You can find more from Lynn A Wood, a prominent Rehabilitative Audiologist and LSLS Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist, on the HearSayLW blog or the @HearSayLW twitter handle.