You can get help for your child if they have hearing loss. The services that provide help are:
- Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS), or
- the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The service you use will depend on where you live.
Your Maternal and Child Health nurse or audiologist can give you information on these services. You can also see
disability support for children in early childhood.
The services can help you with things like:
- creating a positive relationship between you and your child
- helping you build your parenting skills
- lowering the impact of hearing loss on your child’s development
Diagnosing hearing loss
Your Maternal and Child Health nurse will test your baby’s hearing.
Early diagnosis of hearing loss is important. Research shows that babies who are diagnosed early and start wearing hearing aids have similar communication skills to other children by the time they start school.
Hearing loss can be caused by:
- complications during birth
- premature birth
- infections or illnesses.
Sometimes the cause isn’t found.
The main goal is to give your baby a way to communicate with you. This may be through hearing aids or learning sign language. The sign language used in Australia is called AUSLAN.
The earlier you know about your baby’s hearing loss, the sooner you can start making a difference. You can make a difference by:
- communicating and playing with your baby as you would if their hearing was normal. Your baby is able to respond to your sounds, eye contact, facial expressions and touch
- cuddling, comforting, rocking, smiling and singing are all forms of communication. Even if your baby can’t hear you, being able to see you will be important for your baby’s feelings of security.
You should continue to work with you Maternal and CHild Health nurses, as well as different specialists, including audiologists, speech pathologists, and early childhood intervention hearing support workers.
If you have concerns
Speak to any of the specialists you see, ECIS or your Maternal and Child Health nurse if you have concerns.
Most parents experience a range of feelings when their baby or young child is diagnosed with hearing loss. Our
parent health section has tips on looking after yourself and your mental health.