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Back to School and the Importance of Hearing Well

Back to School and the Importance of Hearing Well

It’s that time of year again! Back-to-school is here, and kids are heading off to new classes, old friends and plenty of learning. We make sure they have the supplies they need and prepare them as best we can with letters, numbers and plenty of sleep for academic success, but what about their hearing?

Hearing well is crucial to academic success.

The importance of hearing well in school

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 14.9% of children 6 to 19 years of age have low- or high-frequency hearing loss of at least 16-decibel hearing level in one or both ears. In many cases, this hearing loss goes undetected and undiagnosed.

When untreated, kids often begin to experience difficulties in school and with learning including:

  • Seeming inattentive or disengaged in school
  • Misbehaving during class
  • Experiencing delays in speech and language development

This often leaves those students dealing with hearing loss to fall behind other students day by day, year by year.

Language development and academic performance

Recent research is now highlighting the importance of language and, in turn, healthy hearing, even more. The study, a joint effort between teams at Temple University, the University of Delaware, the University of North Carolina and led by a team at the University of Washington, looked beyond some of the traditional predictors of academic success such as math, reading and cooperation to determine what skills kids really need to succeed.

Language came out on top.

“It provides a foundation for social interaction. If you’re stronger in language, you will be able to communicate with peers and teachers,” Amy Pace, an assistant professor in the UW Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences said. “Language also relates to executive functioning, the ability to understand and follow through on the four-step directions from the teacher. And it helps solve problems in math and science, because understanding terminology and abstract concepts relies on a knowledge of language.”

Unfortunately, when hearing loss is a factor, language development may be negatively affected thereby negatively affecting all other academic areas.

What you can do

As your child heads back to school, make sure they are set up for success with more than just a fancy notebook and new haircut. Here’s how you can ensure your child is hearing well in the classroom:

  • Schedule a hearing evaluation – A hearing healthcare provider can help you determine if your child has hearing loss, and if so, the best ways to manage it for optimal learning.
  • Talk to your child’s educators – If your child has been diagnosed with hearing loss, talk to their teacher and school administrators so everyone is on the same page about your child’s needs at school, how you can support your child’s learning outside the classroom, and how your child can take ownership of their learning with hearing loss.
  • Take advantage of available resources – If your child has hearing loss learn more about assistive technology already available at the school to foster your child’s success.

Set your child up for academic success this school year by ensuring that they have healthy hearing. Start by scheduling a hearing evaluation with our office today.

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