Other Assistive Devices
In addition to the primary means of aid, hearing aids and cochlear implants, there are a myriad of other products to assist the deaf and hard of hearing. Their primary purpose is to cut down or eliminate background noise in order to allow the person (or child) to hear better. The teacher's voice is transmitted directly to the hearing aid, thus bypassing any background or ambient noise.
The most common of these devices is an "FM system" - most likely your kids will be wearing one when they go to school.
The teacher wears one half of the system - the transmitter. This is usually a small unit about the size of a cellular phone worn on the waist with a microphone attached.
The other half of the system is the part your child wears. The receiver plug into your child's hearing aid and allow a transmitted signal to broadcast directly to the hearing aid (see pictures below).
Another type of receiving system is one that uses what is called a "loop." The loop is worn around the child's neck and the telecoil in the hearing aids picks up the signal from the transmitter. The hearing aid then passes the signal to the ear.
For more information, check out the links below:
Guidelines for Fitting and Monitoring FM Systems - American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The Use of FM Amplification Instruments for Infants and Preschool Children With Hearing Impairment - American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association
FM Systems for the Classroom - Boys Town National Research Hospital
The Captioning Web - Information about closed captioning (subtitles), services that provide closed captioning, and the laws governing them.
Help Kids Hear is a site dedicated to helping parents of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children. We are parents of hard of hearing kids and simply want to "give back" to the community. We welcome your comments, questions & suggestions. Please drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.