The 4 Ls: Listening, Language, Literacy, Life-long Learning
Listening is the first order of business for your child and you. We must be sure the little one has access to sound. Just hearing alone, detection, is not enough. The technology must support understanding of spoken language. This means a child must have access that supports detection, discrimination, identification and comprehension.
In the early days, watch your young child listen, with and without his hearing aids or cochlear implants. What sounds does he react to. Are the sounds loud or soft? High pitched or low pitched? Near or Far? What behaviors does your child demonstrate that let you know he is responding to these sounds? When your child reacts to a sound, acknowledge that you heard it too. Label or name the sound and connect it to the source visibly if possible. That helps your child attach meaning to what he heard. Keep a sound diary. This will help guide the audiologist to adjust the technology for the best access.
Remember to make sure your child wears technology all waking hours or at least ten hours every day.
Is your child already using spoken language? You may be taking listening for granted. Don't! Your child will reach a point that he loves to talk so much that he sometimes forgets to listen. Hold him accountable for information you are providing or requesting. Don't let him shift topics to chat. Prompt him about the importance of listening specifically to what you said. Check up on his auditory comprehension regularly.