When babies are born, they are still developing their ability to use their senses, including hearing. Using hearing aids or cochlear implants to make sounds louder or clearer is called using hearing devices.
You will probably be making decisions about the following:
To make these decisions, you will need to gather information from many sources:
You want your baby to grow up in touch with the environment.
To help the baby who can use residual hearing to keep in touch, you and your audiologist will be deciding on appropriate amplification. Will you look at hearing aids? If you do, what kind of hearing aid will help your baby the most?
If your baby is severely or profoundly deaf, will you explore the appropriateness of a cochlear implant? If you do, what information do you need to have before making such a choice? Who can give you information about how cochlear implants work differently with different individuals?
Helping a profoundly deaf baby to keep in touch with the environment may mean changing sound into light or touch. Today, you can choose from many devices that flash or vibrate when the telephone rings, when the alarm goes off in the morning, or when someone knocks at the door.
Many Deaf individuals use computers, text messaging, instant messaging, video relay services, video phones, facetime and other technologies to stay in touch with their community. As your baby grows up, computers will continue to develop, bringing the whole world within reach.