Help your child, or your college-bound student do the best they can in an educational setting by reviewing some of these tips. At Hearing Consultants, we are always happy to help you with issues that might come up during the busy back-to-school time. Remember, the best thing you can do for your student is to have an up-to-date hearing test!
Back to school
There are more than 70,000 children in the public school system that receive services to help with hearing loss issues, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. These services are critical for your child because children learn to talk and set up sentence structure by listening to others talk. Children with hearing loss can find it difficult to learn vocabulary, grammar, word order and other components of verbal communication.
Let everyone know what is going on
Help your child, if he or she is old enough, to talk to teachers and fellow students about their hearing loss. A confident matter-of-fact approach will make other students approach the hearing loss the same way. It sends a message it isn’t a disability or something weird, just an issue that needs to be dealt with – like some children need glasses, some need hearing aids, some are allergic to peanuts or bee stings.
Make sure to explain to bus drivers, aides that might ride the bus as well as school monitors that they need to speak clearly to your child and it is best to stand in front of them and talk to them.
Remind your child it is perfectly fine to ask questions during class, at the appropriate time, if they don’t understand something or they can approach the teacher after class.
Set up an IEP
An Individualized Education Plan is a legally binding program that sets up a common understanding between you, your child, the teacher and the school on how your child will be taught including accommodations to deal with hearing issues.
Public schools, by law, must adhere to the IEP. It’s a basic guide on what essentials are needed to help your child succeed. It’s a good idea to review it every year and get a new one if your child moves to a different school.
Get the proper tools in place
Some children have an easier time listening in class if they have a personal listening device like an FM system. Teachers wear the device around their neck to amplify their voices in your child’s hearing aids. Your child will have to expend a lot less energy listening and focusing if they are hearing at a level they find comfortable.
If you child struggles taking notes and keeping up because there is some extra sound processing time that is needed, you can ask for a note-taker. Some schools just hire someone to take notes and others pick a student that is a good note-taker and have them duplicate their notes.
After school activities
After a hard day of listening, sports or musical after school activities will help them keep being a kid. A short chat with a coach or music teacher about hearing loss and your child and let them blow off some steam.
University students and hearing loss
By law, public universities – and any facility that is financed by public funds – needs to make allowances for the hearing impaired. College lecture halls can have poor acoustics, so some universities employ sing-language interpreters. Very often even non-academic functions have sign language interpreters available.
Professional note-takers are also sometimes utilized, and lecture notes are uploaded directly to the web. Some universities have a screens with text displays of the lectures. Professors also use personal listening devices during lectures to make sure if they are facing a blackboard or white board, everyone can hear what is being said.
Prior to the start of the school year, you should find out what student services are available for the hearing impaired and where the student services office is located. Communicate via e-mail with your instructors about your hearing loss and what needs you must be successful. Plan for safety at your residence hall by taking to the residence hall director about emergency exits as well as a personal alert device.
Find a hearing health provider
Hearing Consultants will help you out with what you need before you leave for school and if you need to find a closer provider, we can help with that. Remember to have an undated hearing test before you start school in case your hearing aids need to be adjusted.