Are my child's hearing aids even working?

Post by: Ellie Zuber

“How do I know if my child’s hearing aids are even working?” This is a question we audiologists get a lot from parents of children with hearing loss. Is that teeny tiny ear mold getting too loose? Are they adjusted correctly? It might seem overwhelming but there’s a super easy (and fun!) way you can verify the hearing aids, anytime anywhere using what’s called the Ling 6 Sounds. The Ling 6 sounds are commonly used by speech pathologists and audiologists to identify sounds across the speech spectrum and allow us to see which sounds a child can or cannot hear.

The Ling 6 sounds are made up of several different pitches and include sounds such as: “ah” “oo” “mmm” “eee” “shhh” and “ssss”. Make fun animal (or food, or really any fun category) flash cards of animals. The idea is to make a sound like “mmm” for example, and see if the child can point to the card of the monkey. Before you get started you’ll want to practice all of the sounds loudly at first so they know which sound goes with which animal. Then once they are conditioned to know what sound goes with what animal, re-do the task at a quieter level.

If your child’s hearing aids are adjusted well they should be able to detect all of the sounds and identify the animal that corresponds to the sound. If they miss the sound “sssss” they might need their high pitches turned up. If they miss the sound “mmm” they might need their low pitches turned up.

Here’s some examples of sounds and animals

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Anna Bogdon