Thursday, May 12, 2011

Children and Hearling Loss

Having a hearing loss at any age can be very frustrating.  Not only  for the person with the hearing loss, but also for those around them that get frustrating when they hear "what?" all the time.

When I was in elementary school, Jr high and high school I had a hard time comprehending with certain teachers.  I had no idea I had a hearing problem.  I remember my 3rd grade teacher saying to me and my dad that the reason I can't understand at school was because my parents were divorced.   They had me meet with a tutor for reading to help me comprehend more.  It did not help.  When I was in high school and some teachers let you pick your own seats, I did better in those classes.  I always sat to the left of the teacher in front of the room.  When I sat other places I  had a hard time.  It was not until I got my hearing aids as an adult did all this make sense.  I just thought I was quirky because I liked sitting in a certain place in class.  I had no idea that it was because I could hear better.

When I had my hearing tested I had hearing loss for different tones in each ear.  My results came back that the beginning of the word I was not hearing.  Someone could say look at the "door" and I may hear "floor".   So, you can see clearly how this can make a child feel like they are not smart in school.  The  doctor actually asked me if I was in a band or if I shot guns because my hearing loss was extreme. I said nope.  Then we talked about school when I was younger and he said, I have had this my whole life. 

Get a good hearing test done on your child if they are having a hard time in school.  Teachers mean well, but to tell a kid they have issues learning because their parents got divorced was not right.  In many cases home life of course effects a child's ability to concentrate, but in my case no.   I could not hear right.   The old tests they used to do in school when I was young to test our hearing , was not a complete hearing test. 

Children learn to communicate by imitating the sounds they hear. If they have a hearing loss that is undetected and untreated, they can miss much of the speech and language around them. This results in delayed speech/language development, social problems and academic difficulties. 

I am very thankful to have my  hearing aids.  I did not want to get them at first because I thought they would be big and ugly, but they have ones that you can't even see.  No one knows I have them on unless I tell them.  So, don't let the fear of everyone seeing them make you not get them at any age.

Hearing loss, in varying degrees, affects two in every 100 children under the age of 18. Fortunately, there are very few hearing losses that cannot be helped with modern technology. The most effective treatment is achieved through early intervention. Early diagnosis, early fitting of hearing aids, and an early start on special education programs can help maximize a child's hearing. This will give your child the best chances for successful speech and language development.

Here are some websites that  can help with hearing loss with children and helping to get hearing aids.  
List of Websites for Hearing Loss

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