A few years ago, Derrick Coleman was signed by the Seattle Seahawks, making him the first deaf person to join the NFL. Matt Hamill, who has been deaf since birth, is a wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter. He was named the NCAA Division III national champion three times and was a competitor in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Historically, many young athletes who are hard of hearing have been excluded from team sports. Some of the factors that led to this were due to group and social sensitivities, difficulty recognizing norms among the team members, and an absence of resources that limit the size of the staff. Disregarding these children and teens can harm their development as a person and an athlete. It could also lead them to become excluded at work and other social environments in the future.
It’s important to work with schools and communities to address this issue and use better communication to allow children with hearing loss to develop interpersonal and teamwork skills.
Raise awareness for Children with Hearing Loss
Remember that everyone has a different method of communication. If you believe that everyone communicates the same way, this is what leads to people being excluded. Encourage community leaders to be more empathetic, and learn more about:
Observe the child with hearing loss and do research. The best way to help this child is by asking them. There may be some uncomfortable questions that a coach or teammate needs to ask. Here is some advice on how to navigate through this:
Be Supportive of the Needs of Your Child
A coach’s resources tend to determine how many support staff are needed to help a player. You must let the team coach know what your child needs for them to give their best performance. Some solutions may include:
Advocate to have Multiple Means of Communication
Stress the importance of multi-channel communication and help to establish this. You can make visual aids, have a transcriber, or an interpreter. Other recommendations include:
Reaching out to coaches from your child’s school or community is an important first step in helping your child become more included. You may go to a meeting for the athletic department and speak to coaches. You could even become a coach for your child’s team, facilitate training with other coaches, and have an open form of communication with the athletic or recreation department.
These adjustments take time and energy. It’s important to build a network of other parents in your school district or community to work together.
If your child has hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a wide selection of hearing aid solutions for individuals of every age. Don’t let your child wait to participate in sports any longer, contact us today.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and hearing loss have some similar symptoms. It is important to determine the differences between the two so that you can get your child the appropriate care.
These characteristics, and other factors, can make it difficult for parents and professionals to conclude whether a child is showing signs of ASD or hearing loss. In many instances, children get misdiagnosed, or they get diagnosed later. A later diagnosis prevents the necessary intervention and care that is needed.
When ASD and Hearing Loss Occur at the Same Time
Many children who have ASD, also suffer from hearing loss at the same time. According to the Gallaudet Research Institute, one in 59 children who are deaf or hard of hearing are also found on the autism spectrum.
There are universal newborn hearing screenings and routine screenings provided by schools, which allows more chances of detecting hearing loss at its early stages. ASD has a high chance of going undiagnosed in some children because they have already been diagnosed with hearing loss. Signs of ASD are mistaken as being caused by hearing loss. In other instances, children who are diagnosed with ASD might develop hearing loss, and it could be ignored when healthcare professionals concentrate on treating ASD rather than hearing loss.
Things to expect
Pay attention and take notice of any signs that might suggest that your child has ASD, hearing loss, or symptoms of both. If you believe that your child is not reacting to sounds or properly acquiring speech and language, they may need a hearing test. Based on how mature and developed your child is, there are hearing care professionals who can determine how well they are hearing.
A hearing test that does not involve patient participation might not conclude how your child’s brain processes sound, but it’s a great place to begin so that you can eliminate hearing problems. Hearing loss can begin at any age, even if they passed their latest hearing screening. It’s best to get another hearing test with updated results.
If the results show that your child does not have a hearing problem, your child’s healthcare provider can determine whether other ailments are contributing to ASD.
If your child has been diagnosed with hearing loss, here are other indications that they should be evaluated for ASD:
Advocate for your child
Getting an accurate diagnosis for your child’s delay in their development is an intricate process. You will need to consult multiple professionals. Inform yourself, be involved in your child’s development, and have a positive outlook to help them.
If your child needs hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid brands at discount prices.
Children's Hearing and Vision Affects Learning and Development
It’s common for children to have problems with hearing and vision. Most children who suffer from moderate, temporary problems may not receive a formal diagnosis. More and more studies indicate that mild loss in hearing or vision may significantly play a role in a child’s learning and development.
There was a recent study conducted by pediatric audiologists examined the pervasiveness and impact coexisting, common, mild hearing and visual problems on the academic achievement of children who went to mainstream schools. A sample was taken from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), which is a broad population-based birth group in England. Children were identified as having hearing and visual difficulties by the age of 7. Data on their achievements in standardized nationwide exams at age 10 to evaluate outcomes in education was used.
The study found that coexisting hearing and vision complications during childhood have a long-lasting negative impact on a child’s educational outcomes. This is higher than the singular effects if hearing or visual problems individually. This study highlights the importance of early detection and early intervention.
Issues with Hearing
A prevalent cause of hearing issues in children is persistent otitis media with effusion (OME, “glue ear”). This is when fluid becomes trapped inside the ear. The problem with this condition is that it cannot be seen from the surface and there aren’t any evident symptoms. When fluid builds up in the middle ear, the ossicles - three tiny ear bones - cannot vibrate, thus it cannot transfer sounds from the outer ear to the inner ear. Hearing loss, the ability to read, and cognition are affected as a result.
In a study on 2,909 children, 261 (9%) children who suffered from mild to moderate conductive hearing loss and/or OME were identified. There was a weak link between mild hearing difficulties for those 7 years of age, and poorer academic achievement in national standardized tests at ages 10 and 16.
Issues with Vision
A decrease in a child’s sense of vision has been linked to poor literacy, but the influence of more prevalent visual problems on education is not clearly defined. Two of the most common types of visual issues that children face are amblyopia and strabismus. They each occur in relation to other conditions, which may affect a child’s development and academic achievements, for example low birthweight and prematurity.
In a study of 189 (6.5%) children who had mild visual problems, they were found to have no negative relationship between mild visual problems and academic achievement between the ages of 10 or 16.
It’s been widely recognized that the combination of auditory and visual data establishes most cognitive processes. This incorporates speech perception, and is fundamental to developing language and communication skills. Having problems with hearing or vision can negatively affect a child’s literacy progress and make them susceptible to an accumulation of difficulties with their senses.
From the study, 14 (0.5%) of the children who had hearing and visual impairments, there was a clear negative link between coexisting hearing and visual problems related to academic achievement for children who were 10-years-old. It was more than the burden of hearing problems itself. There was also a weak link between coexisting hearing and visual problems associated with academic achievement for 16-year-olds.
Clinical and Research Conclusions
Children who are known to have hearing and visual struggles need to be screened on a regular basis to check for other sensory impairments. This will allow for early detection and proper treatment.
This is the first study to examine the impact of coexisting common and mild hearing and visual difficulties associated with academic achievement. The study is limited due to missing statistics, and incorporate underrepresented children from ethnic minorities and low socio-economic backgrounds. Additional research is needed to explain more details about the negative link between coexisting common hearing and visual problems and educational outcomes.
If you have a child, or grandchild, who has difficulty with hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.