03 January 2011

Hearing impaired children have to deal with extra challenges in school

Untreated hearing loss may affect a child's ability to learn and could influence their grades.

Even children with "minimal" hearing loss are at risk academically compared to their normal hearing peers. Untreated reduced hearing can lead to social, emotional and learning difficulties for the child in the long term, according to the American Better Hearing Institute

By the time they reach school age, one in 20 children has hearing loss in at least one ear, a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reports.

Even minor untreated hearing loss can be problematic in school. This is why it is important to be alert to indications of hearing loss in pupils. Hearing impaired children may experience problems when attending mainstream schools unless they receive proper help and support.

Hearing impaired may miss instructions

Up to 90% of a young child's knowledge is attributed to incidental reception of conversations around him or her. Hearing loss of any type or degree in a child can therefore present a barrier to the child's ability to overhear and to learn from the environment, as well as miss a significant portion of classroom instruction.

A German study has found that the children with hearing difficulties had a lower grade point average than their school mates. The pupils with hearing problems were found to have lower average grades ? between .2 and .3 points lower than the average grades of children with normal hearing on a scale of 6 in math, German and physical education.

Noisy Classrooms

A study carried out by the Spanish Organization of Consumers and Users, OCU, performed measurements of the noise levels in 10 elementary schools in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain.

Another study conducted by the Oldenburg University in Germany confirmed that too many classrooms are much too noisy. The noise during a regular lesson at a primary school was measured at levels between 70 and 77 dB.

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