Deaf Friends
Muse Science Magazine for Kids|May/June 2021
Want to communicate better with kids with hearing loss? Try these tips.
By Melanie Ashford

Most of us have worn a blindfold or closed our eyes to block out sight. Often it’s to play a game such as hide and seek. But have you ever played a game without your hearing? You can’t close your ears, but you can try holding your hands over your ears and then ask someone to speak to you. You’ll probably hear loud noises and even muffled speech, but it’s tough to follow a conversation. My hearing is a bit like this, and for lots of kids, it’s much worse.

Imagine if you couldn’t hear your dog barking or what your best friend said when they’re telling you a joke. What if you couldn’t hear a fire alarm or what the teacher was explaining? Anyone with hearing loss that makes it difficult to understand speech may be considered deaf. It’s not easy being deaf, and although some kids are born deaf, many others lost their hearing later on. Here are some ways to communicate better with your Deaf friends and be a good friend to anyone in the Deaf community.

Several Levels, Many Experiences

Mild, Moderate, Severe, and Profound make up the levels of hearing loss. Experts called audiologists use these terms when measuring and treating hearing loss. However, two kids with the same hearing loss level will have vastly different hearing and sound experiences. Deafness is a very individual thing.

Remember, some kids struggle with their hearing loss, but many others are comfortable with it and see it as part of who they are.

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