Hearing Advisor


Hearing aid accessories for children


Traditionally FM and Roger systems are used in schoolsAs mentioned on the hearing loss in children page in order to communicate effectively children need to be exposed to spoken language from birth as they learn speech and language from listening to others talk. As such hearing aids will help significantly with this development but in certain situations hearing aids just won’t be enough, especially when hearing is impaired further by other noise and distance.

Traditionally this has been tackled with FM systems which are provided for children at nursery or school, but there is now also wireless Roger technology.

FM systems work by bringing the speech directly from the speakers mouth to the child’s hearing aids.  It comprises of a wireless microphone which is worn by the speaker and FM receivers that fit to the child’s hearing aids. Then when the speaker talks the speech sound is amplified and sent directly to the childs hearing aids so that back ground noise is reduced and as the system works for a distance of up to 10 metres if the child is far away from you they can still pick up the voice of the speaker.

In 2011 Imran Muller (PhD) conducted a study based on FM use with pre-school children. 7 children of between the ages of 11 months and 32 months were studied and it was found that all children were able to hear better over noise and distance while using FM. The full study can be accessed here.

Although the children in this study where allowed to use the FM system at all times this is not the norm.

Roger technology can help children hear over noise and distance everywhereFM systems are funded by the government and are available to any child during nursery or school, however as these systems belong to the nursery or school they are not usually available for home use. The reason for this is that the government recognises that schools or nurseries are difficult listening environments and in order for your child to perform well at school it is important for them to be able to hear the teacher or caregiver at all times, however it is not just these environments where your child may struggle. As your child may struggle at home when there is a lot of background noise from TV’s or music systems and in parks your child may struggle to hear your instructions over the noise of other parents and children. So these systems are available for you to buy for use at home.

However traditional FM systems have sometimes been difficult to set up and use as they rely on managing frequencies, but in 2013 Phonak launched Roger which is the new digital standard of.

The Roger technology is not only easier to use as there are no frequencies to manage, it connects to the receivers with one click but it is the most compatible system of its kind as it works with virtually every behind-the-ear hearing aid or cochlear implant. The Roger equipment also looks discreet and has been proven to give better results over noise and distance compared to traditional FM. For more information visit the Roger technology page.

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