According to a Spanish survey 46 percent of the parents expressed a need for more information about resources relating to hearing disabilities and hearing aids in the literature, the audiovisual media and on the internet.
One half of all parents found that there is a shortage of information on parents' associations and organizations for hearing impaired children.
Information provided on other technical aids was found to be conspicuous by its absence. Up to 63 percent of the parents said they had never about other assistive hearing devices, such as FM systems and loop systems.
The hearing aid fitting service was considered satisfactory by 75 percent of the parents in the survey, including the brief information received on usage and maintenance of the hearing aid.
Delay in hearing aid fitting
The survey also confirmed finding in earlier surveys that hearing loss in children is first suspected to be present by the parents in 66 percent of the cases. Second most likely to suspect hearing loss are teachers (10 percent), followed by ENT doctors and paediatricians (6 percent, each).
However, the fitting of hearing aids for children is subject to serious delays. On average, the suspicion of hearing loss occurs when the child is 13.6 months, the diagnosis is confirmed by the specialist at an average age of 20.4 months, and the hearing aid fitting usually occurs when the child is 27.7 months of age.
Early detection and treatment by a specialist is essential for a hearing impaired child to be able to develop speech and language skills. In addition, the hearing health care services need to supply more information on different aspects of the hearing aids and hearing impairment to assist parents of hearing impaired children.
About the survey
The survey was carried out among 210 families with hearing impaired children between 0-16 years of age. The respondents answered an exhaustive questionnaire to evaluate all aspects of the hearing aid fitting services.
Source: â€œParentsâ€™ contributions to hearing aids fitting of their deaf childrenâ€, Revista de Logopedia, FoniatrÃa y AudiologÃa, 2004, vol. 24, num.2, pp. 89-99.