Hearing loss makes your brain work harder to process speech and other sounds. Research has shown that this extra listening effort can lead to children with hearing loss experiencing more subjective fatigue than their peers.
Consequences of Listening Fatigue
When children experience listening fatigue, it can impact negatively at school and lead to issues such as:
- Increased stress levels
- Poor academic performance
- Increased number of absences
- Difficulty communicating and building friendships with their schoolmates
Hearing Challenges in Classroom Environments
The classroom setup and environment can make listening even more of a challenge for students with hearing loss. This is due to multiple factors, including:
- Poor acoustics in the classroom
- Background noise
- Listening to multiple speakers throughout the day, speakers that talk too quickly or quietly, or multiple speakers talking at once
- Having to listen while performing other tasks like taking notes or working on an assignment
Additionally, while field trips to places like KidsQuest Children’s Museum offer a fun and interactive learning experience, they can be overwhelming and exhausting for children with hearing loss.
Helping School-aged Children With Hearing Loss
If you are an educator or work with children, it’s important to know there are ways to make listening easier for children with hearing loss.
- Minimize background noise by closing windows and doors
- Slow down the pace of lessons to allow for more processing time
- Seat the child in the front of the class or wherever they are able to hear instruction best
- Practice good communication strategies like facing the child when you speak and encourage others to do the same
- Make any substitute teachers or guest teachers aware of a child’s hearing struggles
- Schedule breaks where the child can engage in activities that don’t require active listening
Worried Your Child Has Hearing Loss?
If your child seems especially fatigued after school and is exhibiting other signs that they are struggling to hear, schedule an appointment for a hearing test. With a proper diagnosis and the right treatment with hearing aids and/or other assistive listening devices, your child will be able to hear better and communicate more effectively.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic today.