As the school year begins, children and adults return to schools, colleges, and universities, to prepare for their futures. Among the crowd are students who have a hearing loss and those who wear a hearing aid. Regardless of the level, school teaches students the valuable skills they need to thrive in society. A hearing loss can affect a student’s ability to learn, so it is vital to address these problems and give all students an excellent chance of academic success.
Students With a Hearing Loss
Learning is often difficult for the student with a hearing loss as numerous distractions via for the student’s attention. Although a classroom tests a hearing impaired learner’s ability to focus, there are steps a student and parents of students can take to make school more accommodating.
- Talk to the teacher. It is vital for an instructor to be aware of a student’s hearing loss. Let the teacher know what sounds are difficult to hear, what words are hard to understand, and situations that are difficult. Consider visual or printed lessons, and request that the instructor face you while speaking.
- Grab a front-row seat. I know what you are thinking, but the front row can be more than the place where people get called on the most. In a classroom, it is the best possible place to sit to hear and understand your instructor. Aim for the middle seat in the front row.
- Consider using a note-taker. A note-taker is often available through a school’s disability services. Of course, a friend in class can often fill this need.
Students With Hearing Aids
Preparing children for the school year includes the pencils, paper, and glue that comprise the back-to-school checklist. A child with a hearing aid will need a few extra supplies and extra preparation for a successful learning experience.
Pack a Hearing aid kit
A simple hearing aid kit will fit into a purse or backpack and will allow a student to handle routine hearing aid maintenance on their own. A kit can include:
- Extra batteries
- Battery tester
- Cleaning brush
- Earwax removal tool
- Drying container
Get Involved With Extracurricular Activities
It is important for a child with a hearing loss to experience a typical school experience including the fun that goes along with it. Encourage children with a hearing loss to participate in sports, clubs, and other activities. Inform coaches about the impairment and keep the necessary accessories for sporting equipment such as splash guards and drying containers available.
Teasing and Bullying
It is a good idea to ask teachers and coaches to look for any signs of teasing and bullying from other students. A hearing impairment can make it hard for a child to transition into school and feel a sense of belonging. If bullying occurs, consider setting up a meeting with the parents of the child. They may not be aware of their child’s insensitive behavior.
What a Teacher can do
- Repeat key learning points
- Use the FM device
- Pre-arrange a signal so students can let you know if they are struggling
- Maintain the noise level
- Explain idioms learned by overhearing others use them in daily conversations
Plan, pack a kit, get involved, and be aware of signs of teasing from other classmates. School can be a demanding experience for any child, so take steps to make it a little bit easier.