Image of friends and family at Christmas dinner.With all the chatter-filled parties and family gatherings, the holidays can present a series of challenges for those with hearing loss.

Throughout the year, Audiology & Hearing Services of Charlotte offers better communication classes for adults, children and their families to help them deal with hearing loss and learn communication strategies. We also offer auditory processing disorder (APD) evaluations for children and adults. During the holidays, we offer the following tips to help individuals of all age levels have better listening experiences:

For Children

  1. APD and hearing loss aren’t the same: The child may be able to “hear” perfectly fine, but they still don’t understand dialogue because APD is a processing disorder, not a loss of hearing. Noisy environments may make the child’s ability to process words even more challenging.
  2. Make them feel safe to ask again: Even if it’s frustrating to repeat yourself often, it’s important for the child to be comfortable in asking for clarification.
  3. Prepare guests before party: Consider writing an email to your guests to inform them of your child’s communication abilities and the hearing technology they use. This step will eliminate some of the explanation you’ll have to do at the gathering and allow everyone to focus on enjoying each other.
  4. Create better listening environments: Position your child at an ideal location at the dinner table and exchanging of gifts so they can better hear everyone and clearly see faces.

For Adults

  1. Set up multiple rooms for conversation: Multiple conversations and kitchen clatter can make it difficult for someone with hearing loss to focus on one speaker. A quieter room to the side of the action would be a more effective communication spot.
  2. Turn down the music: Everyone loves a rousing rendition of “Jingle Bells,” but the background music can make it harder to hear. Keep the volume at a subtle level to allow for better conversation.
  3. Use listening partners: Sit next to the person to help them keep up with the conversation.
  4. Rephrase instead of repeat: A particular word or phrase could be confusing to the person. Try to mix up your phrasing to help them understand.

For more information on services available at Audiology & Hearing Services of Charlotte, call us at 704-412-7975 or contact us online.


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