This blog is about the medical vs educational model. This year, I have been to many parent meetings where parents share that the doctors/Ear/Nose/Throat Specialists and even the audiologists explain their child's hearing loss in a medical manner. The practitioner then explains that the child will "manage just fine" with a "moderate" hearing loss or a "unilateral " hearing loss. Sure, in theory, the child who will grow into an adult will be able to manage and navigate the world while making some accommodations for safety. However, we need to remember that a child has a language developing. The critical years for language acquisition is 0-5 years old. 90 percent of what we learn is incidental. If you want your child to be a user of Listening and Spoken Language,it is vital to have the best auditory input during those years. If you want your child to be a user of American Sign Language, then you can start bombarding the child with ASL and not worry so much about amplification or not. For the sake of this blog, I am talking about those who are choosing Listening and Spoken Language.
Children who have a unilateral (one ear)hearing loss will have issues localizing sound and will miss information presented from that side of the room. The child may have social struggles,as s/he may miss out on whispers, invitations and fun silly stories. Listening with one ear is like putting a microphone into a dinner party and trying to figure out who is talking from where. Children with hearing loss will have a harder time in background noise than children with normal hearing. A hearing aid or hearing aids will help amplify the speaker(s)above the background noise. I have had three families recently get aids for their children after the doctor said,"you really don't need them." After the aids went on ,the parents and children were amazed at how much better they heard. It was an example of you don't know what are missing.
Hearing aids and cochlear implants are individual choices for each family. I encourage you to talk about the pros and cons and do a trial of an aid if it is possible. It might not be for you or your child ,but it might make a world of difference.