My hearing loss was first diagnosed when I was five-years-old, so I was already behind in many areas involving speech. However, because I have a mild-to-moderate hearing loss, my family and I decided oral communication was the best communication choice for me.
Fortunately, I had a two speech language pathologists to help me get back on track. I know that without my speech language pathologists I wouldn’t have the oral communication skills I have today.
Here are four ways my speech language pathologists helped me as a child with hearing loss:
Speech and listening skills are two of the most important skills I learned from my speech language pathologists. I would do exercises that helped me learn the individual sounds of each letter in a word and how to properly pronounce the word. I also practiced speech reading and learned visual cues to help me listen in situations that may not be ideal for a hard-of-hearing person.
Simultaneously as my listening skills improved there were more opportunities to improve my reading and writing skills. Speech pathology helped me expand my vocabulary. I learned the definition of words, how they were pronounced and how they were used in a sentence. This gave me stronger writing skills and improved my reading comprehension tremendously.
I attended a “mainstream” school, but still needed accommodations to keep up with the rest of my class. Although I had an IEP and sound field system, I still had to learn to advocate for myself, which was a challenge for me because I am shy. My speech pathologists helped me learn to identify situations where I might need extra help hearing and taught me how to tell my teachers when I may have missed information.
Being the only hard of hearing person at my school felt isolating at times. Seeing my speech language pathologists weekly provided support and comfort. I knew at least two people understood to an extent what I was going through. They were two people outside of my family who truly cared about my success. My speech pathologist at school advocated for my accommodations by communicating with my teachers to find out my strengths and weaknesses, and informing them about how they could help me understand more in the classroom.
“My speech pathologist at school advocated for my accommodations by communicating with my teachers to find out my strengths and weaknesses, and informing them about how they could help me understand more in the classroom.”
She also helped my parents with this process and I wouldn’t have received all my accommodations without her. Both speech pathologists believed in me, which always gave me the confidence to do my best.
Although working with my speech language pathologists for about 10 years required a lot of work and effort, I am grateful for the communication skills I gained. It has helped me succeed through life and stay connected with others.
Who has had an impact on your life to give you communication skills for better hearing? Feel free to let us know in the comments!