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News: Is your child’s hearing ready for school?

Is your child’s hearing ready for school?

Is your child’s hearing ready for school?

11/01/2018 - Hearing loss, Treatment

School readiness hearing screens and tests – ensuring your child is ready for school.

Stationery? Check! Lunchbox and water bottle? Check! Hearing check? Check!?!

We are very lucky in Australia that we have access to a free universal hearing test for newborns. Diagnosing hearing loss early is important to ensure natural development progress and a happy and healthy baby.

What most people don’t realise is how quickly hearing can change in a child and that by the time they are ready to go to school they may be suffering from some form of hearing loss.

In 2016 a report showed that, after a trial testing of 1600 children, almost a quarter of Queensland school aged children are likely to suffer from some form of hearing issue.

So while the newborn healthy hearing test might have showed normal hearing, a lot can happen between then and the time kids start school. And if kids can’t hear properly, their learning and development can suffer.

There are some indicators for infants you can watch out for yourself. These can include:

  • Lack of reaction to loud noises or not turning towards the source of the sound or respond if their name is called.
  • Not vocalising or ‘imitating’ sounds when under 1 year old.
  • Speech and language is delayed.
  • Tugging of the ear or any form of discharge from the ear.

In older children you may notice some of the following:

  • Inattention
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor performance at school
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Sitting close or turning the TV up louder
  • Frequent requests for repetition.

Unlike vaccinations there is no set schedule in Australia for hearing or vision checks but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that hearing screenings should be conducted regularly. The schedule recommended would be the following for Australian.

  • At school entry for all children
  • At least once at ages 6, 8, and 10
  • On entry to high school
  • At least once during high school
  • For any student entering a new school system without evidence of a previous hearing screening

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is one of the more common hearing disorders affecting school children. CAPD is essentially the brain having difficulty understanding what is being said when the child is in certain environments.

Testing for CAPD must wait until the child is 7 years old as it is not until then that the auditory processing system has developed to an advanced enough stage to allow us to test it. Things to look out for in school aged children in grades 2-3 and onwards include:

  • Difficulties following instructions.
  • Poor listening ability in noisy places.
  • Difficulty with learning at school.
  • Being distracted or easily fatigued at school.

The good thing about testing for hearing loss or CAPD is that there are ways to treat or address problems associated with both disorders and the sooner the treatment begins the better it is for the long-term impact of hearing and processing disorders on the child.

Get your child’s hearing tested today

Clarity offers school readiness hearing screens and central auditory processing assessments for kids starting Prep or continuing in Grade 1 right through to High School. The tests run between 15 to 30 minutes depending on the assessment required. If you have concerns about your child’s hearing make an appointment today with Clarity.

Request a booking today!

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