The holiday season is here, and you cannot think of a gift for your teenager? I’m sure many people can relate to that. When they are small, we know what characters are popular on TV, what games and toys they enjoy the most. It’s so easy to make them happy. As kids grow, they might become more selective and develop their own personal taste.
This year, to help you with this daunting task, we have asked some teens and young adults with hearing loss what they would recommend. These are some of their ideas.
A trend across many age groups, these watches are also great for people with hearing loss. One can set the alarm clock to vibrate on their wrist. A smart watch’s haptic functionality also offers a tactile alert to inform teens of incoming calls, messages, etc. Additionally, smart watches also have the great purpose of promoting a healthy lifestyle, sending alerts for wearers to move and be active, which can benefit your child.
Even if your family does not sign, sign language is an additional way to communicate with the hard of hearing and Deaf community. There is a growing interest in learning to sign, also among hearing people, and American Sign Language has become one of the most popular language courses at universities and colleges. It is an especially important tool when it comes to developing awareness and understanding of the Deaf community. And, if these are not enough reasons, an additional benefit to learn to sign is the brain development that comes with learning a new language.
If taking a class on sign language is not likely to be a present your teen would like, either for the lack of time, commitment, or any other reason, sign language books could be an option. There are many excellent books on the subject and many are especially written for teenagers.
Sometimes it seems like it takes an earthquake to wake up a sleeping teen. If the teen has a hearing loss, it might take even more than an earthquake. That’s when bed-shaking and lamp-flasher alarm clocks come in as a very handy accessory. These devices can be especially helpful if your teen has been relying on you to wake them up, and it’s time for them to take that extra step towards independence. Some great bed-shaking clocks vibrate under the pillow or mattress when the alarm goes off. They can also be used with or without the audible alarm and might include another very helpful feature: a light flasher.
Digital doorbells, with or without a video feature, are great accessories for a teen with hearing loss because they send the alert right to their cell phone. If your teen is moving to a college or university campus, a digital doorbell is a great gift. The digital doorbells with a video feature helps with speechreading the person who is by the door. Doorbells with a light-flasher might be part of the accommodation that can be requested from the university. Contact the accommodation resource office for more information.
If your teenager is confident about their hearing loss, there are various online businesses that offer decals, charms, and cases with all kinds of motifs for their devices. Decorating a hearing aid or cochlear implant processor or headpiece is a great way to motivate your teenager to express their personality, take pride in themselves, and boost confidence. It also raises hearing loss awareness, fights stigma, and creates opportunities to start conversations around hearing loss as more people are likely to ask about hearing devices that are decorated.
Gifts like these are not only fun for teens, but they can help foster independence and self-confidence as teens mature into adults. We hope they inspire you to find the perfect gift for your teen(s). Who knows, it may even inspire them to give you a grudging hug!
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