Children and Deafness

Deafness is a disorder when a child has partial or complete loss of hearing. Deaf and disabled children may be more vulnerable to abuse than hearing and non-disabled children. A child who is deaf may suffer more subtle forms of abuse, like being deprived of a way of communicating or being prevented from seeing people outside of a residential school. It’s very different for a child who is deaf to feel like a normal child. Their different means of communicating involves more touching. They don’t have sufficient communication skills or vocabulary to describe what is happening to them. They may lack the knowledge, awareness, and language needed to stay safe and make informed choices.

Today, many children who are screened at birth and are diagnosed and treated appropriately, can develop speech and language at the same rate as their hearing peers. More children are beginning to have something called a cochlear implant. A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. This is very different than a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sounds so they may be detected by damaged ears. Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. This makes it so you can interact better with your peers.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues. This is not social security taxes. Supplemental Security Income is designed to help aged, blind and disabled adults and children, who have little or no income. It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

A child who is deaf may be eligible for disability benefits; all you need to do is apply right away. The Social Security Administration will consider the income and resources of family members living in the child’s household when deciding if your child is eligible for benefits. Caring for a child who is deaf can be expensive, especially when your child needs a hearing aid or a cochlear implant. It’s important to know if you are entitled to disability benefits and if you meet the requirements. Attorney Matt Liebenhaut represents disability cases for adults and children. If you are unsure whether your child or yourself may be eligible for disability benefits due deafness or any other disability, call the Law Office of Matt Liebenhaut at (850) 270-6977 and someone will be available to speak with you right away.

By: Matt Liebenhaut