It’s important for parents to do what they can to make sure students are prepared for the academic rigors of the school year. But if your child is suffering from an undiagnosed form of hearing loss, their health, well being and scholastic success could be at risk.
Because interpreted volume is often subjective for each individual, young children often lack the capacity to be aware of their own hearing loss and therefore must rely on the observations of guardians to make sure their hearing issues are resolved by an experienced physician.
What You Should Look For
Obvious physical signs, such as frequent colds, fatigue, and recurrent ear infections should be a talking point between pediatricians and parents as soon as patterns become noticed. Many times, parents will allow minor ear infections to run their course, but if they happen frequently, talking to your child’s doctor about hearing loss testing should be considered early on.
Changes in observable behavior or general demeanor of your child is one way to spot potential hearing problems with your children. Often times, children can become frustrated or upset at their difficulty with hearing what others are saying, either family members or classmates, and that frustration can manifest itself in the form of misbehavior during school.
Alternately, your child may pull back from others as opposed to acting out. This can stem from a sense of confusion caused by difficulties with hearing others, and can lead to sadness or intensified shyness when exposed to social situations.
While most parents would argue that no child listens to their elders properly, hearing loss can be a systemic problem that quite literally makes following directions or requests hard for children. If your child is unresponsive to vocal addresses or commands, potential hearing loss rather than disobedience could very well be the reason.
Another tried and true hint that your child might have hearing problems is the volume at which they watch T.V., play video games, or listen to music. Children will often crank the volume up while engaged in these activities because of their inability to hear them at lower, more acceptable volumes.
Of course one fairly good indicator of possible hearing loss is the way in which your child responds to your conversations. If they consistently respond with “Huh?” or “What?” in your interactions, it may be time to take them to a hearing specialist for testing. From there a proper treatment pattern can be outlined.
For more information on hearing loss testing and treatment options, check out the The Hearing & Balance Center section of our website, or visit one of our four Central Florida locations to speak with our staff.