With almost 15% of U.S. children aged 6 – 19 experiencing hearing loss, it is a great time to celebrate Better Hearing & Speech Month in May.
Did you know that about 2-3 of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable hearing loss in one or both ears? And, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America, while people in the workplace with the mildest hearing losses show little or no drop in income compared to their normal hearing peers, as the hearing loss increases, so does the reduction in compensation.
To help a child with hearing loss reach their full academic – and career – potential, the American Speech-Language – Hearing Association (ASHA) recommends the following to parents:
- Know Your Child’s Rights – All children in the Unites States are entitled to free appropriate public education under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Education services designed to meet the individual educational needs of qualified students with disabilities (including hearing loss) are provided by school districts.
- Maximize Achievement – When it comes to managing hearing loss in schools, the use of an individualized education program (IEP) maximizes a child’s success in the educational setting. The IEP may specify audiology services, speech-language pathology services, and services of teachers of the deaf or hard of hearing. Parents have a right to participate in these meetings and are a vital part of the process.
- Champion Classroom Technology – Technology, such as an FM system, can make it easier for a child using a hearing aid or cochlear implant to hear and understand speech in a noisy classroom. Other technology solutions, such as a sound-field system, can benefit all kids in the classroom. Your IEP team should consider the specific and unique technology needs of your child.
- Encourage Effective Teaching Strategies – Talk to your child’s teacher about easy ways for them to help your child. Basic strategies—such as seating a child near the front, not turning one’s back while speaking, giving both verbal and written instructions on assignments, and using visual aids—can go a long way.
- Educate about Noisy Classrooms – Noise makes it more difficult for children with hearing loss to hear classroom instruction, and it is actually a distraction for many children. Inform school personnel about ways they can make classrooms quieter. Easy techniques include placing rugs or carpets over bare floors, turning off noisy classroom equipment when not in use, and placing latex-free caps on chair legs.
About Fitness for Health:
Fitness for Health is a therapeutic fitness facility located in Rockville, MD. At Fitness for Health, you get a complete team—including pediatric fitness specialists, pediatric physical therapists and occupational therapists, and physical therapists for adults—working together to create a full-service plan of care that’s expertly tailored to your child’s developmental, skill and comfort levels while providing fitness for kids. As a parent, you’re involved every step of the way. Learn more about our therapeutic exercise, occupational therapy services, and physical therapy services today.