HKSB in the Media
Studies Show Even Mild Hearing Loss Can Have Major Effects On Children
March 26, 2007
by Bryce Mursch
The statistics tell a startling story. Even mild hearing loss can cause a child to miss as much as 50 percent of a classroom discussion.
That’s where a hearing test on wheels comes in. The League for the Hard of Hearing sends the mobile unit around the city.
On this day the stop is at Helen Keller Services for the Blind in downtown Brooklyn. The children’s learning center works with youngsters who have vision impairments and other disabilities. Now they’re having their hearing checked as well, free of charge.
Laurie Hanin, executive director at the League for the Hard of Hearing, explains its not uncommon for hearing and vision problems to occur together.
“About 50 percent of children with hearing loss have just hearing loss and about 50 percent have another disability and very often there is a visual impairment,” says Hanin.
Experts say diagnosing hearing loss in children who already have a visual impairment is particularly important because those children so often rely heavily on their hearing to compensate.
“Children with vision impairments they rely on their hearing because they can’t rely on their vision to gather information about their world to learn about their environment and that’s why its so important you know about their hearing,” says Samuel Morgan of Helen Keller Services.
About three million children in the US have a hearing loss, more than 1 million of them under the age of three.
And too often hearing loss is missed in children with other disabilities like vision problems.
“Parents and teachers and educators may attribute that developmental problem to vision or some other disability—and not really think about the hearing so much.”