Getting the Help You Need
The mere fact that you are here is a first step in the process of getting your child the help they need. We feel that parental education is extremely important - the more you know, the more effective you will be as an advocate for your child!
Resources such as our web site provide a jumping point for you. The Internet has opened new gateways to learning more about disabilities and getting help and information. We wholeheartedly encourage you to take advantage of our web site (and others)!
The first place to start is with your health care provider that provided the diagnosis and your audiologist. Working with them, you need to do whatever is possible to medically aid your child. They should also be able to give you the general information you need and hopefully turn you onto resources that might be available to you.
Next, is to get some help for your child to ensure their speech, language and learning abilities do not suffer because of their hearing loss. Hopefully the doctors and audiologists helped you with this, but we have heard too many cases where this was not the case. As such, you may be left out in the cold. This web site has links to many sources of aid. We would recommend starting with some of the many associations and organizations out there for the hard of hearing (click here for a listing of some of them). These organizations are dedicated to helping you and your child and most are very willing to help, or at least help you get on the right track.
The financial burden of having a deaf / hard of hearing child can be overwhelming. To have money stand in the way of you giving your child what they need is frustrating and may not be necessary. There are many resources out there for assistance. Is it easy to get financial assistance? Most certainly not. Many phone calls must be made, many applications must be filled out, etc. But, help is out there! You just have to find it and work for it. We have provided you with a place to start in our funding section.
The mental health of you and your child is also of paramount concern - and yes, we said the mental health of YOU as well as your child. It is all too easy to get consumed with everything related to your child's hearing loss - this is not healthy for you or them. Turn to your family, friends, church or or others close to you to help you. It may be as simple as talking to someone about it or using an online resource such as our discussion forum. Talking about what you are going through may be all that you need. Perhaps you just need to step away for a bit - a parent's night out, a weekend trip with the family, etc. Whatever it takes, take care of yourself!
Once you have everything you need to get started, it is not over.
Unfortunately, you may have other battles to face - an uncooperative doctor, arguing with others about what is best for your child, fighting with the school district to get your child what they need. Again, resources such as this web site and organizations and associations can help.
Lastly, we urge everyone to "give back" to the deaf / hard of hearing community. Whether it is volunteering with a non-profit organization, providing donations to those same organizations, or sharing your stories with others so they can learn from you, remember that there are those out there that may not have the benefit of what you have. Share with others.
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 email@example.com.