Humans learn by utilizing all of our senses. When a child has hearing loss, it can cause specific challenges that may impact their learning ability both in school and at home.
The number of students with disabilities who spend time in general classes has increased from 59% in 2009 to 65% in 2019. As more students with hearing loss spend most of their time in general classrooms it’s important to be aware of some of the unique issues they may face.
Communication and Language Skills Affected by Hearing Loss
A child with hearing loss may experience delays in communications skills that can have a continuing impact on their ability to understand and process information. Among other things that may pose difficulties, a child who has trouble hearing may be at a disadvantage because:
- They struggle to pick up on high-frequency sounds, meaning speech can sound muffled or hard to distinguish.
- Teachers may look away while giving verbal instructions, such as turning to write something on the whiteboard while still speaking.
- Teachers may speak too quickly or make last-minute changes to homework assignments that hearing-impaired students don’t catch.
Social Relationships May Be Harder for Children with Hearing Difficulties
Communication is also vital to building relationships with other students. Young people with hearing loss may have trouble picking up on auditory clues or struggle with pronunciation. They may try to mimic their peers and pretend to understand what is being said, which can lead to misunderstandings.
If children struggle to communicate and build relationships this can lead to frustration and isolation. It can also cause them to withdraw or become uninterested in school because of the additional stress.
Hearing Loss Can Cause Confusion
It’s not just speech that children with hearing loss can struggle with. There are many noises within their environments that they may miss.
For example, they might be confused as to why their teacher or fellow students turn to look out the window if a fire truck drives by. Depending on the severity of their hearing loss they also might not hear alarms for fire drills and not understand when they see other students lining up to exit the building.
Hearing Aids Can Help Make Learning Easier
By treating your child’s hearing loss with hearing aids you can help them improve their language development and increase their confidence in social situations at school. For some children with severe or profound hearing loss, cochlear implants may be the best form of treatment.
Keep an Eye Out for Children with Hearing Issues
Hearing loss in children is not always super obvious. Keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Trouble paying attention
- Speech problems
- Difficulty following directions
- Misunderstanding questions
Whether you’re a parent or a teacher at Torrance Elementary School, it’s important to recognize the signs of hearing loss so that you can provide children with the help they need so they don’t get left behind.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for your child to get a hearing evaluation, call Torrance Audiology today.