It’s a new year. What do we have to do during this year to help children with hearing loss succeed?
Listening is the basis of success
We have to be certain that the children are hearing what they need to hear. For children to succeed they need to hear everything that is happening in school and out of school. Remember – what they hear is what they say.
- Have aided testing with technology to be sure that children are hearing at a soft enough level with each piece of technology alone and with both together.
- Test using the LMH 10 sound test, test with technology in each ear alone and both ears together to be certain that technology is working every day
- Remote microphones are ESSENTIAL. Be sure the child has a remote microphone system to use in school and in other noisy situations. Meal time at home can be noisy and would benefit from remote microphone use. Children who are involved in after school sports, ballet, or religious school activities will benefit for using a remote microphone system in all the difficult situation.
- Listening and spoken language specialists or speech-language pathologists should monitor children’s speech, language and listening skills to determine if there are areas that are not at age level and need therapy. It is important to be aggressive and not to accept scores that are poor in some areas even if the total scores are within normal limits. I confess to being more aggressive than most. Scores that are at a percentage level of 30-50% are poor and if a child is having difficulties in, for example, auditory memory, than ignoring it and not working to improve skills in that area can result in difficulties in other areas.
- School services are also critical. A teacher of children who are deaf and hard of hearing will be an enormous benefit. The responsibilities of the TOD include helping the school staff to understand how to maximize listening in the classroom, monitoring a child’s ability to listen in the classroom, monitoring academic skills to determine areas which need therapy, preview of new vocabulary and concepts before they are taught in class, and review vocabulary and concepts after to be sure they are understood. Other responsibilities including helping to develop the IEP or 504 plan.
- A plan should be developed to enable all staff members and the family to communicate with each other to meet the child’s goals.
- Monitor Monitor Monitor – never assume
If all people working with a child with hearing loss, (including the family) recognize the importance of listening, and if a good plan is developed to be sure that a child is hearing well and using hearing to learn, we should be optimistic about success!!!