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Kennedy’s flashy hearing aid

Now more than ever hearing aids offer an outlet to express individuality and children are embracing this movement. Many hearing aid manufacturers offer an array of color options and earmolds are quickly becoming an artform, rather than a source of embarrassment. Independent artists have begun selling hearing aid and cochlear implant accessories, such as charms featuring cartoon characters, clips, colored tubing and tube wraps. And with new toys featuring hearing aids entering the market (such as American Girl doll, Joss) the stigma of hearing loss is rapidly disappearing.

6-year-old Kennedy received her first hearing aid about a year ago. She is currently sporting a majesty purple Phonak Sky BTE complete with blue earhook and hot pink sparkle earmold. This lively 1st grader can frequently be seen showing off her hearing aid to her friends and teachers. Because children grown quickly, the earmold is replaced every 3-6 months, meaning she has endless opportunities to dream up new color combinations. In the past she has chosen to sport an earmold with pink and purple polka dots featuring the silhouette of her favorite animal, a black cat. Prior to this she has chosen a pink and purple swirl, and even a solid black earmold. Glitter has remained a constant fixture of each earmold. Earhooks can also be easily replaced and offer the opportunity for even more color combinations.

Why does this matter? When children have a say in their hearing healthcare and are offered choices, they are far more likely to wear their hearing aids. Children are able to customize their devices so that the hearing aids are as unique as they are. The hearing aid becomes something they will truly want to show off. As a parent, instilling a sense of confidence is key. Your child’s hearing aid is awesome, not just because it is doing the very important job of helping them hear, but because they made a great choice in color or design! If a child believes their hearing aid is amazing, they will have no trouble convincing their friends of that fact.

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Chelsea Devlin, Audiology Assistant

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