Hearing Loss in the Classroom
Last year, we published an article about what the future of hearing was in schools. Since then, the Center for Disease and Control has estimated that the number of school-aged children with hearing loss has increased from 12 to 14.9 percent. These children suffer from hearing loss of at least 16 dB in one or both ears.
Hearing loss is crucial to speech and language development as well as communication and learning. Any delay in one of these categories can cause learning problems as well as a poor academic performance. Due to the invisible nature of hearing loss, these problems may often go unnoticed. Many students are even incorrectly diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, children who suffer from untreated mild to moderate hearing loss are one to four grade levels behind their peers.
How new technology can help
The good news is that there have been a number of new technological advancements designed to make it easier for hearing-impaired students to receive an equitable educational experience.
Students with hearing loss often struggle to understand the teacher due to background noise and a reliance on reading lips. One method of improving hearing in the classroom with proven success is the FM system, a wireless system designed to capture, filter and deliver sound directly to an individual’s digital hearing aids. Utilizing an FM system helps to reduce distractions from ambient noise, allowing the student to focus on significant sounds, take notes and interact with the class.
FM systems have always been widely used, but recent developments have made these devices more effective than ever before. Newer devices have a more advanced capacity to filter through background noise, offering crystal clear sound delivery. Additionally, new wireless systems like the Phonak’s Roger Pen, which operates similar to an FM system, do not provide feedback when multiple devices are present.
For those with severe hearing loss, the CART system (Communication Access Real-time Translation) may be something to consider. This speech-to-text technology is used to translate spoken words into text, which is then displayed on a computer for the hearing impaired student to read.
If you or a loved one is struggling with hearing loss in an educational environment, new solutions may provide relief. To learn more about the latest hearing loss treatments or to find quality hearing aids in Thousand Oaks, California, contact us today.