If your child is exhibiting poor performance in school, you may think they have a learning disability. Or, maybe even a behavioral disorder. But, the answer may be simple. Your child’s hearing loss may affect school performance.
How Common Is Hearing Loss in Children
Your child’s school behavior has deteriorated. You receive weekly communication from teachers about instances of acting out or being inattentive. Maybe even your straight-A student’s grades have taken a dive. What should you do?
Well, there could be different causes for this change in behavior. But, parents rarely consider one option that causes the same type of behavior: hearing loss.
And, hearing loss is more common than you may think. The CDC reports that 5 out of every 1,000 children between the ages of 3 and 17 have reported hearing loss. That number may rise in the future in a culture steeped in very noisy environments.
Genetics may also play a part in whether your child will develop some form of hearing loss. Up to 60% of children will develop hearing loss due to their genes.
How Hearing Loss Affects School Performance
When your child suffers from hearing loss, they will have difficulty developing speech and language. They may also find learning and communication a challenge. This will manifest outwardly in different ways. But, often children will act out because they are frustrated. And, because the symptoms of hearing loss in children are similar ADD or ADHD, they may be misdiagnosed.
In addition, if children do not receive intervention for their hearing loss they can eventually fall one to four grade levels behind their peers. This may happen for different reasons.
Sometimes your child’s classroom is too noisy and can’t support children with hearing loss. Some subjects that rely on hearing, like language arts, are simply harder for your child to grasp if they are hearing impaired. And, sometimes simple confusion and frustration over not being able to hear the nuances of language may impact their grades.
So, if you are worried that your child may have ADD or ADHD, remember that hearing loss may affect school performance, too. If your family has a history of hearing loss, or if your child has had reoccurring ear infections makes this a more likely scenario.