Holidays can be stressful times for all of us. There are lots of things happening and much more to do than during other times. This year holidays have the added problem of Covid and, for many families it is will be a more lonely time. Some of us are not spending time with families that we normal would see. And some of us have lost family and friends.
Here are some suggestions for making the holidays easier on children with hearing loss (and with other children):
- Be sure to include children in the planning for holiday events. Depending on the child, they will be able to participate in different things. They may be able to help with deciding what food should be served, with cooking for a special meal, setting the table, and with suggestions for presents.
- Be sure that all technology is working. Check batteries and be sure you have extra’s. If the child uses a remote microphone system be sure it is available and working. And USE IT.
- Try and keep things quiet. Do not have the radio, TV or music on so that the child (and everyone else) can hear more easily.
- Make sure the room is well lit to facilitate lipreading.
- Make sure everyone who comes to visit understands what has to be done to include your child with a hearing loss. One person talks at a time. Face the child with hearing loss. Be sure to include the child. Don’t let hearing loss separate your child
- Encourage people to be sure the child understands and if not, to repeat or do what is necessary to make communication successful
- If the child is having trouble communicating and can read, consider downloading otter.AI It is very successful in providing what is being said which the child can then read.
- Cloth and paper masks provide better sound than masks with plastic. If a child relies on lipreading the plastic masks will help but if a child relies on hearing, the plastic mask muffles the sound. It’s a difficult decision.
- Be sure to allow some “time off” when listening is not needed. Listening all day is fatiguing.
- Try and arrange some socialization activities during the holidays so your child can meet with friends. Consider some zoom activities in which you can work out some games kids can plan remotely.
- If watching movies, turn on captions.
- Make sure holidays are fun. That is the whole idea of holidays