Attending school with hearing loss is challenging. COVID-19 has added another layer to the already complex situation, as many schools throughout California have transitioned from in-person to online learning.
Below is a guide for parents on how to help your hearing-impaired child navigate online school.
Reduce Background Noise
Kids with hearing loss have a hard time distinguishing and understanding speech when there is a lot of background noise. Distractions can lead to listening fatigue, behavioral issues and difficulty paying attention. You can help reduce background noise by:
- Closing windows and doors
- Setting up a designed school zone free from other siblings and working parents
- Implementing house-wide “quiet times”
- Turning off noisy appliances
Check Their Hearing Aids
Before your child heads off to their first day of school, you should make sure their hearing aids are in working order. You can bring the hearing aids in to have them professionally cleaned and looked over, or perform the listening check at home.
Before classes start, make sure your child’s hearing aids are synched up with their computer and other Bluetooth-enabled devices they will be using in their virtual classroom. This gives you time to troubleshoot any connectivity issues and contact customer support if needed.
Learn the Systems
Take some time to learn about the video platforms your child will be using. Many of the popular applications have an option to turn on closed captioning as well as the ability to record the video to watch again later. You’ll want to make sure you know how to turn these settings on and off before your child starts school.
Advocate for the Use of Visuals
While sharing your child’s unique needs with their new teacher is an important part of every school year, it is even more important in this time of distance learning. Let their teacher know that the use of visuals can help aid understanding for children with hearing loss.
Take Movement Breaks
Research suggests that movement and activity in young children can increase memory, perception, language, attention, emotion and decision making. Make sure to incorporate movement breaks into your child’s day, even if it is just a standing stretch or a quick walk around the block.
To learn more about how you can help your hearing-impaired child navigate the new landscape of remote learning or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact San Francisco Audiology today.