My 3 year old has hearing loss

Hello. We have just discovered that our 3 year old has moderate to severe hearing loss. We dont have any details beyond that yet, as the audiologist wasn’t very informative (we are now going to take him to the audiology department at the local children’s hospital for better info). We have been doing research online to find out as much as we can so we can be better equipped to help him learn to hear and speak.
I was wondering if anyone has any advice regarding the best hearing aids for young children. We want it to be as low profile as possible (have been investigating open mini btes) while providing the best sound possible. I saw a forum comment regarding a waterproof aid and thought that would be great too! Most important to us is low profile and function, though.
We were also astonished at the cost of hearing aids. My husband is really into home theater and other technology and has bought some seriously incredible and small sound systems as well as blue tooth devices, computers, etc for 1/3 the cost of a hearing aid! And of course, insurance does not cover it! We make too much money to qualify for any public assistance programs, so I wondered if anyone knows of any other assistance programs for children available.
Also wondering if anyone has any websights they can point me to regarding this issue.
Thanks for your advice :slight_smile:

for a child that young I wouldn’t go with a mini BTE or any type of RITE. I’d go with a full custom earmold and a regular BTE. My 11 year old has been wearing hearing aids since he was diagnosed at 15 months and still isn’t ready for RITE yet. You want something sturdy since kids can be rough and tumble. They don’t care what it looks like.

Look into intensive speech therapy preferably in a deaf and hard of hearing program. My son started at 18 months for a few hours a week but by 3 years old was going to elementary school 5 days/week for half days and full days at 4 years in a very small inclusive DHoH program. He also has a moderately severe to severe loss. He was fully mainstreamed in a regular ed class at the same school with the DHoH program by second grade.

Another thing that helped when he was real young was teaching him some sign language - he picked that up much quicker than speaking since it takes time with the hearing aids to learn to interpret all this new noise they hear. It’s not like putting on a pair of glasses and now everything is in focus. His DHoH speech therapist taught us all baby sign to use with him.

good luck.

about the cost of the aids. If your county school system has a DHoH program ask the school audiologist about help purchasing aids. My son gets school aids provided free of charge and his school audiologist (who has worked with him for 10 years now) arranged for us to buy his last two pairs of aids at her cost. We were able to get a pair of new Naida SP for under $2200 for the pair.

We are in Montgomery County MD and have a very nice DHoH program available in the public school system.

I would agree with Maureen that small and discreet are not likely to be on the menu for a three year old. Our audi has told us that she wouldn’t put open fit aids on a child until they were at least in high school. An open fit means more risk of injury to the child than with a soft mold should they get hit in the ear area, and a significant risk that the aid(s) will be lost or broken.

I am the mother of a nine year old hearing aid wearer and am hearing impaired myself - diagnosed at 8 and aided since age 14. I would encourage you not to focus on trying to be discrete about your son’s hearing loss. It is a part of his identity and will be forever. People are going to see that he’s wearing aids, and he’s going to need to know that it is okay to have them be noticed. My son and I have taken the opposite path from being discreet - his hearing aids are bright blue, and the new molds we just ordered will be “Robin Hood green” - what he asked for. We put small stickers on the aids to make them fun. I decorate mine with gemstone stickers and fingernail appliques and put beads on the tubing. I realize that not everyone wants to draw so much attention to their ears, but its our way of being positive about the aids and trying to make wearing them fun. It also makes it okay for other people to notice them and ask about them instead of trying to take sideways looks when they think we don’t notice so they can try to figure out what they’re seeing. Your son will look to you to set the tone for how to feel about wearing his aids - I’d order them in his favorite color, let him pick out some stickers (try the scrapbooking aisle for tiny ones), and get some fun animal clips to hold them on so he won’t lose them.

As for selecting aids, I would let the audiologist at the children’s hospital guide you on this. He or she should really have the ability to help you make the best choice for your son. We were able to get a grant that paid for our son’s aids from United Healthcare Children’s Foundation. The application process was easy, and their formula for determining your financial eligibility was simple. We would have had too much income for some other programs, but because we have a large family, we qualified for this. You can find complete details here:

Good luck, and come back and post again as more questions arise. Also, you might want to check out the Hearing Loss Association of America forums. They have a forum for parents of children with hearing loss. You can find the forum at

yep - my son’s last hearing aids were bright blue and he got colored earmolds - sometimes red and orange and sometimes blue and green. After loosing a beige hearing aid in the sawdust of a horse arena I wanted something that was easy to spot.
His new ones are the transparent Naidas. He wanted red but they weren’t going to be available as fast. Now that he is in middle school he has transparent half shell molds but wore bright colors all through elementary school.