Over 90% of babies born with a hearing loss are born to hearing parents. Like you, they have no experience of deafness and no friends or family with experience raising children with a hearing loss.
The birth of a baby is a life-changing event by itself and the whole family needs time to adjust to this new family member. In addition to the usual adjustments of a new baby, having a baby with a hearing loss means you suddenly need to make decisions about:
- Technology – Can the child access some hearing with a hearing aid or cochlear implant? How much can they access? What does it mean for their development?
- Communication – Sign language or speech? What if you want both? Is that possible?
- Education – What support, does my child need? Mainstream or specialist school? Which schools provide the best support for deaf and hard of hearing children?
The whole process can be overwhelming and isolating as you try to inform yourself and make the right decision for your child. At the same time, you may be experiencing a range of emotions that come with finding out that your child has a hearing loss.
Without doubt, parenting is a difficult yet rewarding challenge. Families with children with a hearing loss often feel isolated with relatively few contacts with whom to compare and share their experiences.
You are not alone. Everything is DEAFinitely OK!
HEARO offers the Parent to Parent Mentor Program. New parents are paired with more experienced parents of deaf and hard of hearing kids. It is an opportunity for you to share your experiences and learn from someone who has already been on the journey.
The three-month program will;
- Match you with an appropriate mentor taking into account your location, cultural preference and type of hearing loss
- Provide support through an appropriate channel – face-to-face, phone, SMS, email
- Encourage mentors to provide support weekly for the first month and then regular contact for the next two months.
- Support you to navigate the system so that you are linked to the best advice and services for your child
This service is currently only available in NSW.
We are working on expanding our reach in the near future.
Find out more
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