The ability to hear correctly is essential for success in school on any educational level. Schools, colleges, and universities teach students the skills they will need to function in society, so it is imperative to address any communication disorders to enable all students a chance at academic success. Current research supports the importance of communication skills. A recent study finds that language skills are a stronger indicator of academic success than reading, math, and a few other skills. So it is vital to address these skills as you or your child return to school this year.
Untreated Hearing Loss
Untreated hearing loss dramatically impacts school performance according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Young students with hearing problems are at high risk for delays in vocabulary development, sentence structure, speech, and social skills. A hearing impairment at this age makes it difficult for a child to pick up on speech and language that is taking place around them and they begin to fall behind. It is essential to be familiar with typical signs of hearing problems in children:
- Delayed speech
- The child does not follow directions
- Turns TV volume up too high
- Often asks for you to repeat yourself
Hearing Impaired Students
If you are a pupil or the parent of a young student, there are a few measures you can take to aid in making your school more accommodating to your particular communication needs:
- Speak with the teacher. The instructor must be aware of the hearing loss. Explain what sounds are difficult to hear or understand. Address situations that are difficult for the hearing impaired. You may want to ask that the teacher looks at you or your child when speaking and consider visual or printed educational materials.
- Sit up front. It remains the best possible place to hear and understand an instructor.
- Contemplate using a note-taker. Your school’s office should be able to connect you with this service or a friend in class can be a big help.
A student with a hearing aid needs a little extra preparation for success in school. A kit for the hearing aid can comfortably fit into a purse or backpack allowing the student to perform maintenance if needed. A kit might include the following:
- Extra batteries
- Battery tester
- Earwax removal tool
- Drying container
- Cleaning brush
If you or your kid is hearing impaired, get involved with extracurricular activities. Sports, clubs, and other fun activities are all part of the educational experience. Be sure to speak with coaches regarding accessories for sporting equipment like splash guards and drying containers.
Teachers Can Help
School teachers can be a big help to hearing-impaired students. Here are a few tips that teachers can use for making their classrooms better suited for students who have hearing problems:
- Always repeat the key learning points
- Use a prearranged signal for students to indicate if they are struggling
- Maintain appropriate noise level
- Explain idioms learned by overhearing others
Language is a huge indicator of academic success. Good hearing ability is vital to strong communication skills. If you or your youngster is having hearing problems, do not hesitate to schedule a hearing evaluation with a hearing healthcare professional today. Proper hearing ability is vital to communication and school success.