“I’ve told you three times to put on your shoes!”
It’s only 8.30am and you’ve already asked your 8 year old to brush their teeth 3 times, put their shoes on 3 times, and pack their school bag 2 times. By 8.45 you are ready to pull your hair out! But what if this familiar story is a sign of a more serious problem with your child’s hearing?
Mild hearing loss
It’s the middle of Winter and your child breaks out in fever for at least the 3rd time this year. They have a full blown cold with blocked ears and a runny nose. One month later, the cold is forgotten. You notice your child still has the TV volume up really high. They are ignoring you even more than usual and come home from school exhausted. They have also been sent to the Principal’s office for playing up in class.
Believe it or not, these are all signs of mild hearing loss. Congestion can cause fluid to hang around in the middle ear causing dull hearing. Sometimes this just won’t pass on its own. When a child can’t hear properly, they can become very tired and distracted. If this sounds familiar, it’s a good idea to see an Audiologist. They will be able to rule out either temporary or permanent hearing loss as a cause of the problem.
When the ear hears but the brain doesn’t
Your child has excellent hearing. They started talking at a normal age and can hear a whisper. It’s just that they can’t seem to follow instructions. The teacher has noticed this too. She feels it’s even worse during group times when all the kids are talking at once. Your child seems to just zone out and refuses to complete tasks. She also says they’ve got poor spelling. She mentioned something about ‘auditory processing’.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) could be the cause. This is a problem where the brain is unable to interpret what the ear has heard. It’s a bit like listening to a conversation on a mobile phone where the reception is poor. The reception in their brain is poor. They can’t just hang up and call back. They cannot control the quality of the reception.
If your child has CAPD, they’ll need help to make sure they can thrive at school. An Audiologist is the best person to assess for this disorder. So if you’ve got concerns, book in assessment and get it sorted out.