06 Aug 2018

Summer has flown by with the blink of an eye, and many parents are gearing up to send their kids off to their first semester college.  This transition to greater independence is already quite stressful for both you and your young scholar, but if your teenager is hearing impaired you may have additional worries about how that might impact their academic success at a new school. No need to fret, there are education services in place to prevent academic setbacks for students with hearing loss. Here are three tips for preparing your hearing-impaired teenager for college.

Contact the School’s Disability Office

Even if you don’t think your child needs any special accommodations, it’s still a good idea to contact the disability office. Most schools can provide them with free or discounted hearing technology, such as hearing accessories for the classroom, that may make their classroom engagement a lot easier. Don’t shy away from visiting the office in person; it could provide a great opportunity for them to meet other students with hearing loss and -who knows- make new friends!

Find Local Support

If your teen is moving to a new town, familiarize yourself with the area and find where they can go for support if they need it. This includes nearby places that sell hearing aid batteries. As obvious as that sounds, it may be possible to set up a regular plan where they can get batteries delivered to them as they need them. Your teenager could be forgetful or overwhelmed by their new environment, so making sure they are always fully stocked will alleviate a lot of stress. Being without hearing aid batteries on a college campus can be scary!

If they’re moving far from home, consider finding a hearing health professional or audiologist near campus.

Make Sure their Roommates are Informed

It’s very important that their new roommates are informed about their hearing loss. It may be best to let them communicate this to their roommates themselves, letting them know how they do things and don’t do things, and why they might not always respond immediately.  If they feel more comfortable in a single dorm room, you may consider that as an option. Try to foster your teen’s independence by allowing them to make their own decision, but encourage them to not base it solely on their hearing loss. Have them consider what they like/prefer personally, then consider their hearing loss and the best way to accommodate that wish.

Urge them to be open with their roommates and new friends from the beginning, and to show their peers the best way to communicate with them. Starting off with good communications is the best way to help relationships grow and thrive.

College is a fun and exciting new venture, and the perfect time to branch out and learn more about yourself. There’s no reason hearing loss should prevent your teen from enjoying every aspect of college life!