It’s time for that crazy chaos of getting school supplies, first day outfits, and physicals – but should you add getting your child’s hearing checked to your To-Do list? Traditionally children are given hearing tests at school, but those are only health exams to determine if you need further testing.School screenings may not detect high-frequency hearing losses, typically observed in adolescents or older students and caused by exposure to excessive noise according to a study conducted at Penn State University1. Children who have untreated hearing loss are more likely to struggle to learn to read and do math. They may struggle to learn new words, understand sentences, or they may struggle to speak in a clear manner due to inability to hear. These factors contribute to the fact that children with untreated hearing loss may fall one to four grade levels behind their peers without help according to the American Speech – Language – Hearing Association2.
Children are less likely to fall behind their peers if they get help early. Here are ten signs that your child should get their hearing checked:
- Their speech is delayed or not clear – Is your child’s language development lagging behind their peers?
- They do not follow instructions – this can be mistaken for ignoring – Is your child struggling to follow instructions?
- Your child often says “what?” – Is your child saying “what?” often for people to repeat what was said?
- They turn the TV volume up too high – Is your child wanting the TV volume to be significantly higher than everyone else?
- Your child is having difficulty learning – Are there struggles with homework or behavior issues at school? Do your child’s teachers note that your child does not hear or respond as well in the classroom as other kids?
- They struggle to respond to their name – Does your child fail to respond to their name being called when they are not distracted by background activities?
- Your child is speaking louder than previously – Is you child speaking louder than they used to?
- They respond inappropriately to questions – Do their answers make sense to the questions asked?
- They’re watching others to imitate what they are doing – Does your child wait until others initiate action after receiving instructions?
- Your child is complaining of ear pain or head noise – Does your child say their ears hurt or they hear ringing or buzzing in their head?
Some of these signs may just be part of being a kid, but when you begin to see patterns and consistency it could indicate your child may not be hearing as well as they should.
Be sure your child is ready for the school year. If you suspect a hearing loss, schedule an appointment for a hearing screening today at a nearby provider. Or sit down with your child to take the online hearing quiz to evaluate potential level of hearing loss.
2American Speech – Language – Hearing Association, https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Effects-of-Hearing-Loss-on-Development/