Any chance to build our children’s self-advocacy skills, we will take. That is why we love using the myPhonak Junior app! It is an amazing way to empower my child with hearing loss to build the needed skills to become a confident, independent, and successful adult.
When my nine-year-old son, Ayden, was a baby, we wanted him to have strong self-advocacy skills. Starting young, we worked on keeping his hearing aids in, using headbands and pilot hats. Then, we worked on finding a consistent spot where he could place his hearing aids down at night.
We helped him learn how to be responsible with his technology. As he grew older, he learned to put his hearing aids on himself. This gave him a huge amount of freedom. When a battery died, he learned to change it himself. He discovered newfound independence. These skills taught both of us that as his parents, we didn’t have to be by him every moment of the day. While we want our children to ask for help when needed, our goal is not for our children to always rely on us. We want them to have the confidence and skills to speak up for themselves. I am not in his head. I do not hear as he does. Being able to troubleshoot himself not only is a relief to me, but it is empowering to him.
Read more: Why I build resiliency in my children to overcome challenges with hearing loss
Using myPhonak Junior app gives Ayden one more way to take control of his hearing loss. It provides personal access to the amazing features in his Phonak Sky Marvel hearing aids. The app has volume control, background noise adjustment and speech focus. It also has frequently asked questions and fun information. All of this makes the app a must-have if your child is a Phonak Sky Marvel, Link M or Phonak Naida™ P-UP hearing aid wearer.
Here are my four favorite features of the myPhonak Junior app and how they empower my son with hearing loss:
Ayden recently was given the privilege to unlock the volume control setting on his Phonak Sky Marvel hearing aids. This was a big deal for him. His favorite part about the volume control is being able to turn the volume on his hearing aids down when his brother is practicing his baritone instrument for band.
However, if you are an audiologist or anybody working with a student with hearing loss, you might be holding your breath like I was at this newfound freedom. This is because it’s a huge responsibility to have control of the volume. Responsibility and awareness are needed skills for this to work. On the other hand, unlocking this feature felt like a significant step to independence. Combine this with the myPhonak Junior app and we have one very empowered nine-year-old.
Hearing aids are amazing pieces of technology. However, one significant limitation is background noise. Since Ayden got his first pair of hearing aids, background noise has been an issue we had NO control over. myPhonak Junior app changes that completely. Once both hearing aids are connected to the app, there are active program modes you can choose from: Automatic, TV, Music, and Party. If these set programs don’t work, you can adjust two features by clicking on the “Adjust Settings” button. Ayden has the control to adjust “noise reduction” and “speech focus” when he has access to the app. That means when he is in a loud noisy restaurant, he can adjust the settings to reduce more background noise. This lets him focus on the conversation. But he doesn’t always like that setting. He likes to be able to hear what song is playing when we are walking around a store. If his settings were to always block that out, he would struggle to hear it because of the hearing aid settings.
Whether or not your child is ready to have full control over their hearing aids, using the troubleshooting support offered on this app is worth it! Honestly, I would have given anything to have something like this nine years ago. While the Sky Marvel hearing aids are packed with incredibly powerful technology, issues still arise. As an adult new to hearing aids, I did not always know how to handle these issues. I would plan to call our audiologist, but if a problem happened at night, or they were not available, I often went to online forums to ask questions. myPhonak Junior app has many frequently asked questions that would have saved me a lot of stress and headaches. It’s easy to find and I know it applies to my child’s specific hearing aids. On top of that, the app provides direct contact between us and our audiologist.
“Whether or not your child is ready to have full control over their hearing aids, using the troubleshooting support offered on this app is worth it!”
The app allows parents and users access to information that was previously only able to be seen by an audiologist. This includes the amount of time your child is wearing their hearing aids and how much power and battery life is left in their hearing aids. For Ayden, I can see that he is wearing his hearing aids for an average of 13 hours and 30 minutes a day!
Read more: myPhonak app lets me pretend I’m an audiologist
The control the app provides Ayden over his hearing aids is building confidence as he grows into the healthy, successful and independent adult I know he will one day become.
“The control the app provides Ayden over his hearing aids is building confidence as he grows into the healthy, successful and independent adult I know he will one day become.”
It is important to note that my son does not have his own personal device that he carries around with him. I have the app downloaded on my phone as we learn and grow using the app together. Just like with all his skills, we take it one step at a time.
Ayden will gain more responsibility with age and time. For now, it is an amazing next step.
The myPhonak Junior app is compatible with Phonak hearing aids with Bluetooth® connectivity.
myPhonak Junior app can be used on Google Mobile Services (GMS) certified AndroidTM devices supporting Bluetooth® 4.2 and Android OS 7.0 or newer.
To check smartphone compatibility, please visit our compatibility checker.