My child has a Ponto


Find out:

  • How you can help your child to listen and talk by considering the way you talk and what you talk about
  • How to match words to your child’s thoughts by watching, waiting and responding
  • How to create opportunities for your child to listen and talk using everyday routines
  • Using structured material to help your child can also be a good idea. Your audiologist will know much more


How can I help my child to talk?

Parents and family members are always the child’s first and best language teachers. That’s because they spend more time with the child than anyone else, and children need to hear lots of talk, over and over again in order to understand and talk themselves.

It is easy to feel guilty that you haven’t spent enough time playing with special toys or other activities. But as important as they are, try not to worry - communication is most effective if it becomes part of your daily routine.

Try to be patient and realistic. Some hearing babies learn to talk quicker than others and children wearing hearing technology will be just the same!

If you are concerned though, do talk to your local professionals.

My child can now hear so won’t they learn how to listen and talk like hearing children do?

 Today’s hearing technologies give children the access to sound that they need for listening and talking, and some children can do well without any special planning. Children who use hearing technology need to learn to pick out voices from all the other sounds around them – and this is not easy in the noisy world that we live in!

All hearing technologies use microphones to pick up sounds, so children will learn to listen better when those talking to them are close by, and when the environment is quiet.

You can do this by cutting down on background noise, by turning the TV off unless you are watching it, and by switching off other noisy devices when you’re not using them.

Simple things you can do

  • Children who use hearing technologies hear better the closer you are to the microphone
    so get close.

  • Facial expressions make you much more interesting to listen to
    so smile!

  • Interesting voices are so much better to listen to
    – so use a singsong voice!

  • Use lots of gestures to get your message across. 
    Some parents find using signs to support spoken language helpful.

Communication from an early age

Young children want to communicate with those around them from a really early age – that’s because they have lots to think about and lots to tell us.

200x200-kidAnd children start to communicate with those around them from the minute they are born. As they grow – the things they want to tell us about become more sophisticated, and the ways in which they communicate become more sophisticated too.

So babies express themselves using cries, noises and non-verbal behaviours, and older children use words, phrases and sentences.

Children communicate for lots of different reasons

Some examples might be:

  • To Request – Mine, Give me, I want it/ I want some more
  • To Reject – No! Go away! I don’t want it/ I don’t like it
  • To get attention – Look, Mummy! Daddy!
  • To get information – What’s that?
  • To make a comment – That’s dirty! Hot!
  • To ask for help – Open
  • To express their feelings – I’m sad

Matching thoughts with words

Children learn words quickly when the words they hear match their thoughts!

Asking for more – Sophie is one year old and she loves to play “Row, row, row your boat” with her Granny. She lets Granny know that she wants to play by grabbing Granny’s hands and swaying back and forth to start the game.

Expressing feelings – Max is 9 months old, he gets sad and worried when Mum leaves the room, so he shouts really loud and cries for her until she comes back.

Making a comment – Harry is in love with fire engines – and every time he sees one he points to it and gets so excited he practically falls out of his pushchair! 

You can make sure that your words match your child’s thought by watching and waiting before you respond!

Using everyday routines for developing, listening and talking

Children with hearing technologies will learn to communicate, listen and talk if they have . . .
. . . the opportunities to listen to lots of talk every day from those around them
. . . the opportunities to communicate for themselves.

200x200-babyThis may sound difficult and you may be concerned that you don’t have the skills or experience. However, doing the things that you and your child enjoy, and using the things you have to do every day, whether you like them or not, are the best ways to encourage communication – here’s how!

Parents spend a huge amount of time with their children. Think about how much of that time is spent doing the ordinary things like eating or changing nappies and the number of things you find yourself saying over and over again!


Repetition is vital for language learning. Think of how many times a baby has to hear the word “mummy” before he or she says it for the first time.


Routines have the same sequence to them, and are highly predictable. This means that routines are the best way of using the same words over and over again – which is just what your child needs to learn those words.

Keep talking

The other great thing about using routines is that you will never run out of things to talk about and the talk will go alongside the things you are doing. You may get bored, but your child won’t – and you don’t need any special equipment!

Create opportunities

You can help your child to make the most of their hearing all day long by giving them lots of opportunities to communicate.

200x200-kid-playChildren want to communicate with those around them.

Sometimes though, children find it difficult to express their thoughts – maybe they haven’t got the words to say yet, or they haven’t been given the opportunities to express themselves.

Parents and family members can create opportunities for children to communicate and give them the words they need to say by matching thoughts with words.

You can create opportunities for communication by: 


The best communication happens when you take it in turns to listen and talk. Your child needs to know that you are waiting for them to take their turn in the communication before you respond – so wait with expectation for them to communicate with you in some way. 


All children will have lots of things that really motivate them to communicate. It may be a favourite toy or activity. Try and work out what’s really motivating your
child and give them the words they need to say.

You can use these motivators to create opportunities for children to: 

  • Request
  • Reject 
  • Get attention 
  • Get information 
  • Make a comment
  • Ask for help


Toys and games

Although all children are different there are some toys and games that create opportunities for children to communicate better than others – but do remember, it’s NOT the toy that makes the play special, it is having an adult who is interested in playing that makes all the difference.

Your child has probably got favourite toys and games that they find more interesting than others. But, be a little careful with toys that they play with happily for ages without needing or even wanting anyone else to join in, especially if they are silent during the activity – these sorts of toys aren’t so good for communication!

  • Books

    Books are great for creating communication opportunities. Books are actually a type of routine – the pictures are always in the same order and the stories are simple with lots of repetition.

  • Rhymes and Action Songs

    Songs are wonderful for encouraging children to join in and use their voices, and it really doesn’t matter if you haven’t got a brilliant singing voice, just as long as you look as if you are enjoying yourself! If you can’t remember any children’s songs, take a look on the Internet – there are lots on You Tube!

  • Co-operative Games

    There are lots of games and activities where children need an adult’s help to make them fun and these often create great communication opportunities. 
    Think about things like:
    Party blowers
    Hiding games
    Rough and
    tumble, tickly games

  • Helping

    Children love to do the same things that you do! You can create opportunities for communication when your child helps out doing things like baking a cake, cleaning the car or tidying things away. Although it might take longer, you will be giving your child real everyday experiences they can talk about.

These are just a few ideas to help you. You will find out plenty more by talking to your teachers and therapists, and from other parents, who will be able to tell you what worked for them and their child.


Download this guide


Join the Hearing Super-Stars!

Our club for children ages 3-13 who wear a Ponto bone anchored hearing device offers opportunities to make new friends, learn from one another, and enjoy fun activities.

Sign up now!


Find your crayons and add color to Oscar and his friends, there are also a lot of fun riddles you can solve.

Download the book



Seven Things to Know When Considering a Bone Anchored Hearing System for Your Child

In the search for the right hearing solution for their children, parents typically ask, “Will my child be able to hear? Will they be able to talk? Will they be able to achieve the same things that their brothers and sisters or other children can achieve?”

Parents want to know what it takes for their child to grow, play and do the best at school. At Oticon Medical, our goals for technology have always been to meet these challenges. We feel it’s important to offer the technology that will help each child succeed. We believe that children with hearing loss should have access not just to sound, but to a superior sound experience.

Here are the 7 things you need to know when considering a bone anchored hearing system (BAHS)  for your child from a recent AudiologyOnline text course, The Ponto Bone Anchored System: The Right Choice for Pediatrics, with Mary Humitz, AuD, CCC-A, FAAA.


  1. According to Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss, Resources for Parents, children with unilateral hearing loss require our early attention because:
    • They may be 10 times more likely to fail in school.
    • One-third to one-half of children who do not receive help to hear better have problems learning in school.
    • One-fifth may ultimately develop behavioral and social problems because many rules of social interaction are learned through subtle auditory and visual cues rather than through direct teaching.
    • It’s the absence of incidental speech inside and outside the classroom that contributes to children’s learning issues.

  2. Children are considered for bone anchored solutions—like the Ponto—typically when it has been determined that they will no longer benefit from amplification provided by traditional hearing aids.

  3. Bone anchored hearing systems are designed for children with mixed or conductive hearing loss, as well as, children with single-sided deafness (SSD). With mixed or conductive hearing loss, children benefit by having the sound signal bypass the conductive element of their hearing loss and stimulate the inner ears. Learn more about the different types of hearing loss here.  With SSD, vibrations are transmitted from the single sided deaf ear to the normal functioning contralateral cochlea. The BAHS reduces the head shadow effect and increases speech understanding in noise.

  4. There are 3 main components to the Ponto, the Oticon Medical Bone Anchored Hearing System:
    • A small (3 or 4 mm) titanium implant that is surgically implanted into the bone behind the ear.
    • An abutment that is seamlessly placed through the skin enabling the sound processor to be attached.
    • A sound processor that clicks easily to the abutment and sits discreetly behind the ear.

  5. Bone anchored hearing systems are designed to use the body’s natural ability to transfer sound through bone conduction. Sounds are converted to vibrations, which the skull transmits directly to the inner ears.

  6. The Ponto BAHS is designed with titanium metal because of its biocompatibility with living bone. This is the foundation of bone anchored hearing system: osseointegration. It provides a direct interface between an implant and the bone, giving the direct bone conduction that the BAHS needs. 

  7. In bone anchored hearing systems, it’s the direct connection between the sound processor and the bone through the implant abutment that gives the clearer sound. It’s this clear sound children need to support their important speech and language development.


If you’d like to talk with an audiologist to learn more about a BAHS for your child, please contact your local clinic

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