Does your child have difficulty behaving and completing assignments at school? If so, you may want to have them screened for a potential learning disability like attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and also hearing loss. It’s common for one of these conditions to be mistaken for the other due to both sharing many symptoms. We review the connection below.
ADHD in Children
ADHD is a collection of behaviors without a known cause that has no definitive physical tests. Children with ADHD may:
- Be impulsive.
- Struggle to pay attention.
- Have poor organizational skills.
- Avoid tasks requiring sustained mental effort.
- Be easily distracted.
- Have difficulty sitting still.
- Take on multiple tasks at a time.
While many children and adults struggle with these skills, if these traits have a major impact on quality of life or a person’s ability to function, they may be diagnosed with ADHD.
Overlap with Hearing Loss
There has been an increase in the number of ADHD diagnoses over the past few decades, which means the likelihood of incorrect diagnoses has likely also increased.
Hearing loss is common and shares many symptoms with learning disabilities like ADHD. This is because even a mild hearing loss can cause a child to miss as much as 50% of what is said in their classroom. In school, this can look like:
- Poor academic performance.
- Not responding when spoken to.
- Inappropriate responses to questions.
- Difficulty with social interactions at Meridian Playground.
- Acting out.
- Low self-esteem.
These symptoms are commonly mistaken for a learning disability, oftentimes leading to an inaccurate diagnosis.
How to Tell the Difference Between ADHD & Hearing Loss
Fortunately, there are some key ways to tell the difference between a learning disability and hearing loss.
Children with ADHD tend to develop speech-language skills alongside their peers, while children with hearing loss tend to experience delays.
If a child diagnosed with ADHD does not respond well to medication, it may be the case that hearing loss is to blame.
A hearing test can easily determine whether your child is suffering from hearing loss.
Note that it’s possible for a child to experience both hearing loss and a learning disability at the same time. For more information or to schedule a hearing test, call Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic today.