Listening in the classroom is challenging for all children but particularly for children with hearing loss, because of high levels of background noise. It is crucial that a child with hearing difficulties is given as much help as possible to hear the teacher if they are to reach their learning potential.
We find out if there is a hearing impairment and, if so, how severe it is. We can also provide information about whether the hearing difficulties are temporary or permanent.
For children who have already been fitted with hearing aids, we measure whether the output of the hearing aid is appropriate. We review the technology available to improve the child’s access to sound, including radio-aid (FM) systems, Bluetooth and induction loop/telecoil, for different situations such as the using the telephone. Where appropriate, we can give advice about cochlear implants.
Hyperacusis is an oversensitivity or intolerance to particular sounds that can limit the day-to-day activities of children and their families. It is more common but not confined to children with sensory processing disorders such as autism. We have a programme of management that has been found to reduce the impact of hyperacusis on daily life.
At Chear we can explore the options for different models and types of hearing aids for older children and teenagers, who may be self-conscious about wearing hearing aids. We will consider the possibility of in-the-ear, open fit or integrated radio-aid receiver hearing aids, but suitability will depend on the physical size of the ear and the level and type of hearing loss.
If you are a school-age child with hearing loss, the Kristina English SAC-A questionnaire – and the SOAC-A questionnaire, which you can give to a friend – can help to identify problems you and your friends may be having because of your hearing loss.
Many parents find it useful to chart their child’s progress using questionnaires such as C.H.I.L.D, by Karen L Anderson and Joseph Smaldino.