It’s never less that disconcerting when your child needs to go to the doctor. However, the best way to empower yourself and be the best advocate for your child is to prepare before any appointment by creating a list of questions you may have regarding your child’s condition.

Find the right audiologist for your child

Preparing questions can be especially important when you’re walking into unknown territory, such as childhood hearing loss. If you, your child’s teacher or your child’s pediatrician believe your child may be suffering from hearing loss, you will likely need to schedule a visit with a pediatric audiologist. Audiologists can test your child for hearing loss, establish a diagnosis and provide consultation for any hearing loss improvement devices, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants, that may benefit your child.

Check online for hearing loss information

If you have little-to-no experience with hearing loss, consider checking out the Centers for Disease Control website on hearing loss to establish some baseline understanding of what hearing loss is, how it occurs and how it is treated. If you take your child to see his or her pediatrician prior to the audiologist, ask the pediatrician for any available literature on hearing loss, especially childhood hearing loss.

Bring questions with you

In addition to arming yourself with some basic knowledge of hearing loss, consider bringing these (and any additional) questions to the first pediatric audiologist appointment. It is a good idea to write them down on a piece of paper so that you don’t forget any questions while at the appointment.

Questions about childhood hearing loss

  1. How severe is my child’s hearing loss?
  2. Is my child’s hearing loss permanent?
  3. Are both ears affected?
  4. Will hearing loss affect my child’s speech and language development?
  5. What could have caused my child’s hearing loss?
  6. Can you help me understand the audiogram so I will be able to re-explain it to my child?
  7. May I have a copy of the hearing test results?

Questions about hearing aids and cochlear implants

  1. What is a cochlear implant? Should we consider one for my child?
  2. Does my child need hearing aids?
  3. How much do hearing aids cost? Are they covered by insurance?
  4. How will hearing aids help my child hear better?
  5. How many hours a day will my child need to wear hearing aids?
  6. Will my child be restricted from participating in certain activities?
  7. How often will my child need new hearing aids?

Questions about support

  1. Is there a parent support group in the area?
  2. Is there a support group for children with hearing loss in the area?
  3. What other sources can I look into for more information on hearing loss?
  4. How do I tell immediate family members about my child’s hearing loss?
  5. Do you have tips for how to communicate with family members at home?
  6. How can I help my child adjust to his or her new hearing devices?
  7. What sources are available for financial assistance?

The audiologist is there to not only help your child’s hearing loss, but to make them feel comfortable. If you have any additional questions regarding your child’s hearing health, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask!