School buses, new clothes, and school supplies; these are all signs that summer’s over and school is back in session. Parents spend a lot of effort ensuring that their children have everything necessary to start the school year right. According to Debbie Clason, a staff writer for Healthy Hearing, however, there’s even more to think about if you have a child with hearing loss.
Be your child’s strongest advocate
Part of being a parent of a school-aged child includes making sure that he’s getting all necessary services; these services will enable him to fully benefit from the schooling experience. School administrators, including teachers, have many children to care for. Therefore, it can be difficult to anticipate and meet the need of every child without the help of parents. If you have a child with hearing loss, plan to be actively involved in the creation and execution of your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). According to Clason, an important part of this plan of this plan should include the services of an Education Audiologist (EdAud).
What does an education audiologist do?
An EdAud is a hearing professional who is specially trained in assisting children with hearing impairments within the school setting. She can recommend adaptations to the classroom environment, assist with the proper fitting of assistive listening devices, and educate and counsel teachers and parents in relation to how hearing loss affects your child in school.
How to access an education audiologist
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) lists services to which each school child is entitled, including education audiology. If your school has an education audiologist on staff, be sure to ask that your child has access to their services. If your school does not have one, here are a few things you can do to get services:
- Most importantly, request that your school find an education audiologist for your child. Even if they don’t have one of their own, they may be able to contract with another school or institution to provide one.
- If school officials cannot find an education audiologist, you can seek to find one on your own. A good source of information is the audiologist whom your child already sees.
- Make sure that education audiology is specifically written into your child’s IEP at the start of each school year. This will require the district to provide these services and find a way to make it possible.
Once your child is receiving education audiology services, don’t stop there. Continue to communicate with the education audiologist, your child’s teacher, and other school officials. This will ensure a customized approach that will be the most beneficial for your child and his learning experience.
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