Most medical professionals may recommend cochlear implants or hearing aids to your deaf/HoH child, depending on the degree of their hearing loss. Hearing aids are designed to amplify sound. Cochlear implants require surgery and use electrical signals to interpret sound.
Deciding whether to get a cochlear implant or not is a very personal, and tough, decision. Make sure to discuss with your child’s doctors the benefits and complications. Talk to families who were also in your situation. Educate yourself on the Deaf community and culture.
While there’s many upsides to cochlear implantation, it can be a very expensive process. It can also be emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, and socially draining for parents and kids. The total cost of cochlear implantation, which includes the devices, surgery, and rehabilitation, ranges from $50,000 to $100,000. Thankfully, most private insurance companies, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, provide some coverage.
The most important thing to remember is that hearing aids and cochlear implants are not a “cure” to hearing loss. Assistive technology assists deaf/HoH people in understanding speech.
The experiences of deaf and hard of hearing (HoH) children are so diverse, depending on their upbringing. Some may grow up with cochlear implants and use spoken language as their primary form of communication. Others may identify more with the Deaf community, connected through sign language and a shared culture. Or some fall between, using a mix of both languages.
There’s no one right way of raising a deaf/HoH child, because each family’s decision is personal. This guide is for parents, teachers, and community members who want to help create a more inclusive society for deaf/HoH children.
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