The Importance of School Hearing Screenings
Hearing screenings in schools can help identify children who may require hearing services or assistive devices such as hearing aids. High Level Speech & Hearing Center provides mobile hearing screenings at local schools in the New Orleans area, and we can also provide additional testing and services for students who show potential hearing loss during a school-based screening. Learn more about what to expect and how to follow up after receiving your child's results.
The Connection Between Hearing and Learning
Because hearing is so essential to learning, school is a natural setting for mobile screenings. Although newborns have a hearing screening in the hospital after birth, some types of hearing loss manifest later in childhood and may go unrecognized. These undiagnosed deficits may increase the child's risk for learning difficulties in the academic setting. In addition, undiagnosed hearing loss can impact peer relationships and socialization, sometimes resulting in isolation and depression.
Even minor hearing loss can cause challenges in the classroom when it comes to hearing instructions, processing information, and following directions. For example, if a teacher continues speaking while turning his or her back to write on the chalkboard, your child may lose that message due to reduced volume or a reliance on lip reading for understanding. Difficulty hearing often results in difficulty communicating with others and expressing oneself, which can create issues with school performance. Often, children who have hearing loss are misdiagnosed with a learning disability such as ADD or ADHD.
What to Expect During a Hearing Screening
Students may be screened in preschool and beyond, with Louisiana public and charter schools providing mandated hearing tests every other year for K-12 students. The most common type of screening is called a pure-tone test. During the screening, the examiner will fit your child with headphones and instruct him or her to raise one hand when a beep or similar sound is heard. Sound waves are measured and tested at a range of frequencies in both ears.
Children pass the screening if they are able to identify sounds at 20 decibels and above. Children who do not pass the screening may have temporary congestion in the ears or test irregularities that interfere with the results and will be tested again in four to six weeks. If a repeat screening also shows poor results, you should make an appointment for follow-up testing with one of the experienced audiologists on our team.
How High Level Can Help
Some of the most common signs of a hearing problem include academic difficulties; concerns with speech, language, and comprehension; a loud speaking voice; and complaints of strange noises or ear pain. If your child has failed a hearing screening or is struggling with school, he or she may have undiagnosed hearing loss. However, intervention and treatment often address these issues and help improve the student's performance, ability to communicate, and self-esteem.
High Level Speech & Hearing Center provides comprehensive hearing services for children, teens, and adults, and we're rated number one in mobile screening services in Greater New Orleans. We diagnose underlying hearing and speech issues and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment, including hearing aids and assistive devices. If your child recently did not pass a hearing screening at their school, schedule an appointment for your child at our New Orleans or Harahan location. Call us at 504.345.2984 for more information about our available service locations.