Children with hearing loss have to put more mental energy into listening in school than their peers with normal hearing. Studies have shown that this can lead to children with hearing loss experiencing more subjective fatigue. This may cause increased stress and performance issues in school.
Why Does Listening Fatigue Occur?
When you have hearing loss, your brain has to work harder throughout the day to process and understand what is being said. This leads to experiencing mental fatigue quicker. There are multiple factors that can make listening fatigue in school even more pronounced for children with hearing loss. They include:
- Poor acoustics in the classroom
- Background noise. This can be in the classroom or when on a field trip somewhere like the Austin Nature & Science Center.
- Listening to multiple speakers throughout the day or speakers that talk too quickly
- Having to multitask and listen while performing other tasks like notetaking
This fatigue can cause children to feel increased levels of stress, perform poorly in school and have more absences from class.
Hearing Aids Can Help Reduce Fatigue
If you are an educator or a parent concerned about your child’s hearing, it’s essential to get them scheduled for a hearing test as soon as possible. If hearing loss is discovered, they will most likely be treated with hearing aids. Hearing aids can help reduce listening effort and minimize fatigue.
Helping School Children With Hearing Loss
Even if a child is using hearing aids and or listening devices, there are still ways to make the classroom an easier place for them to learn without experiencing as much fatigue.
- Reduce background noise by closing windows and doors
- Encourage work in smaller groups when possible
- Slow down the pace of lessons to allow for more processing time
- Experiment with seating and place the child in a seat where they can hear the best
- Practice good communication strategies (such as always facing the child with hearing loss when you speak) and encourage others to do the same
- Schedule breaks where the child can engage in activities that don’t require active listening or allow them to rest their head on their desk for a certain amount of time
If you have additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment for your child to get evaluated, call River ENT today.