Behind-the-ear aids offer certain benefits for children:
- Easy to handle
- Ear molds can be easily re-adjusted to accommodate ear growth
- Parents or caregivers can control the settings
- Easy to clean
Early intervention for children with hearing loss is crucial because a child’s ability to hear is critical for his/her speech, communication, and overall learning development. Parents often turn to hearing aids to treat their children or even their newborns (infants can be tested and fitted for hearing aids at as young as four weeks old).
Testing for children with hearing loss is usually conducted by pediatric audiologists. Unlike testing adults for hearing loss, infants can not tell the doctor if the sound is too loud or too soft. Infant testing requires the use of a probe microphone to measure how much sound is coming out of a hearing aid. Audiologists usually recommend the behind-the-ear hearing aid for children.
The cost for testing, purchasing and fitting for hearing aids is expensive. Fortunately, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act guarantees child-coverage for at least some hearing treatment fees. Additionally, many private health care plans offer assistance for children’s hearing aids. Medicaid also can cover the costs for children who qualify.