The senses connect us to our world. Through them we stay safe, express ourselves, enjoy life, and learn about our world. Our hearing sense plays a large role in this respect. Without it we miss the subtleties and excitement of learning. This is especially true for children who experience a hearing loss, making early measurement, detection and treatment so important.
For children with a hearing loss, learning is impeded and educational progress is slowed. “Children can experience difficulty in hearing and understanding their teachers. This can be a barrier to educational progress with their peers,” said Christine Jones, AuD, Director of Pediatric Clinical Research at a leading hearing technology company. “Classroom noise levels can approach 80 decibels, and even children with normal hearing can have difficulty understanding what the teacher is saying,” Jones said.
Emotional stress and physical ailments (such as headaches) are also associated with undetected hearing loss. “Children with hearing loss that goes undetected or untreated can exhibit behaviors associated with discipline problems or attention issues, simply because they’re not hearing well,” said Jones. “Children can feel isolated and misunderstood because of it.”
Finding the right solution
There are a variety of solutions for children with hearing loss. The first step is to seek professional advice. If a child is diagnosed with hearing loss, child-friendly hearing aids are helpful. They are kid-proof and tailored to the needs of children at different developmental stages. Because of the scope of educational opportunities and technical solutions, children with hearing loss now have the ability to perform well in school despite their hearing loss.
Guidelines for parents
Parents should watch for unusual behavior in school or concentration difficulties carefully; hearing loss could be a factor.
If a hearing impairment is diagnosed, hearing aids should be properly fitted by an audiologist. Our office can assist you.
Talk with the child’s teacher. Your child should sit as close to the front of the room as possible, and the teacher should stay focused on the child’s hearing loss. Music and speech therapy can also provide extra support for the child. This can promote writing and reading skills, as well as improve your child’s communication skills.