Back to School Hearing

Prepping for back-to-school? Don’t forget hearing!

Can you hear the back-to-school bell? 

It’s August, and that means pretty soon the kids will be saying goodbye to the summer vacation and saying hello to homework, books, and new schedules. We all want our kids to do well in school, but sometimes they struggle.

What if your child wasn’t able to hear as well as the other children? Did you know that hearing issues share many of the same symptoms as ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)?

Similar Symptoms

According to the Help Guide, symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Has trouble staying focused; is easily distracted or gets bored with a task before it is completed
  • Appears not to listen when spoken to

While those are only a small number of the symptoms, they are very similar to the symptoms associated with hearing loss. It’s not unheard of for children with hearing loss to be misdiagnosed with either ADD or ADHD for that reason. If they can’t hear what teachers or other adults are saying, a child may behave as if their attention is elsewhere, because, well, it is! It’s unfortunate when this happens because delays in treatment can lead to worse outcomes for the child.

What to look out for

By the age of eight, 13 out of 10,000 children will have what is called bilateral hearing loss, or loss of hearing in both ears, according to the Centers For Disease Control. 

The CDC recommends you look out for other symptoms of hearing loss in your children, including:

  • Speech is delayed
  • Speech is not clear
  • Does not follow directions
  • Often saying, “Huh?”
  • Turning the TV or other device volume up way too high

If you have concerns, it’s important to have your child checked by a medical professional to properly diagnose hearing disorders. The Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center has trained audiologists on staff to make a professional assessment, and offers a wide variety of treatment options. Doing this before the school year intensifies will allow time for your child to adjust and give them the best chance to start school off right. 

Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be preventable in many instances. Children dealing with hearing issues can experience developmental delays in learning and social skills, simply because it’s harder for them to interact and learn from teachers and their fellow students. Hearing loss has been shown to be correlated with being up to 10 times more likely to fail a grade or need special help to keep up. This study, from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, for instance, found that on average, children with hearing loss performed poorer academically, but that interventions can help alleviate those difficulties. 

One key skill that students learn in school is social interaction. Being able to effectively communicate with peers and teachers can be crucial to success in group settings.

Treatment options

Treatment can be as simple as ear-wax removal, to more complex solutions such as discreet hearing aids and surgical interventions, like cochlear implants. What’s most important is having the knowledge basis to make an informed decision. That means booking an appointment with one of our certified audiologists.  During your consultation we will start by assessing your child’s hearing. Next, we will discuss the best treatment plan to provide your child the care they need before to return to school with confidence.