Reconnect Lifestyle Hearing & Speech Therapy Solutions: Heidi Allan’s Practice currently conducts school hearing screenings at more than 30 schools in the greater Durban area and even as far afield as Underberg. By doing this, we aim to detect and minimise hearing problems in children through accurate and early identification which allows hearing impaired children to get the help they need to live a normal, happy life and progress appropriately in school.
What is School Hearing Screening?
Hearing screenings conducted in schools refer to a process by which one can identify those children whose hearing falls within an acceptable range for learning in the classroom and which children may require further assessment. As it is a screening procedure, it lacks the accuracy of a full diagnostic hearing assessment but allows many children to be seen in a short period of time at a reasonable cost.
Why is it necessary to screen children’s hearing?
Hearing is the fundamental sense through which we learn and is the primary input area for language and learning. Hearing problems in children may affect all other areas of learning and social interaction including paying attention, listening, memory, reading, spelling, speech production and writing amongst others.
Research shows that for every normal hearing child failing a grade, ten children with a minimal hearing loss fail a grade. These concerns are not limited to the junior primary or foundation phase but are just as relevant in the senior primary and high school phases. Therefore, early identification is crucial.
What does a Hearing Screening include?
In this practice, it is first established whether there is any matter such as wax or debris in the ear canal which can affect the hearing levels. Following this, the middle ear system is assessed to exclude a treatable condition such as a middle ear infection. Finally, the hearing levels are assessed to establish whether hearing falls within the acceptable range or not. As with most hearing assessments, the test results depend on the demeanour and health of the child AT THE TIME OF TESTING.