I want to share another thing I learned that blew me away in our “year of discovery” (when AC was in 3rd grade). Apparently, a lot of kids that are HOH get misdiagnosed as having ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder. AC was almost one of them. That was how we figured out he needed the FM and all – because his teacher started saying all these little negative “behavioral” things were happening. Things like many of the ones noted on this list from phonic ear. Check out the chart:
Maybe, this information is old news now… but, when I first heard this I had a HUGE “light-bulb moment”. I wish I had known this information BEFORE that point. So, maybe this will help someone else out there who’s just starting off with a child diagnosed with mild hearing loss.
At the time I discovered this (thru my OWN research) we were in the process of weeks of jumping through hoops.
Including when I THOUGHT the school was testing AC for speech articulation/pronunciation – but, instead they tested his comprehension/processing skills/behavior. The report they sent me echoed some of the things his teacher had been saying – implying he had ADD. I had to make them re-test for his articulation/pronunciation.
I was told by a special teacher of the Deaf – that “they” really could not even accurately test a child with hearing loss for ADD – because it’s almost impossible to say behavior was caused by being HOH, or if truly ADD. Especially considering the person that did the testing was NOT a trained professional in the area of hearing loss.
When I received a report from the school, I sent the below response:
I received a copy of your evaluation on AC. Thank you for all your time and effort. I am very happy that you found him to be within “normal” or “above average” abilities on his speech and language skills. Wonderful!
In your report, you also said that you observed AC “having trouble sitting still”, “moving his legs”, etc. There was one thing in particular you wrote that concerns me.
“His extraneous movement did not appear to be related to his hearing loss”.
I’m somewhat confused by that statement, and wonder why/how you came to that conclusion?
I’ve only recently learned that many hearing impaired children are commonly misdiagnosed as being ADD, or having other “behavioral problems”. Apparently, they exhibit many of the same symptoms, such as being impulsive, easily side-tracked, etc. I was also told that hearing impaired children can be easily fatigued – which can contribute to this type of thing as well. Of course, each child is unique with their needs and how their hearing impairment affects them.
We are currently in the process of determining just what AC’s needs may be, and how best to meet them. We are in week 3 of the trial period for the Sound Field system. There was some discussion on whether he might be better off with a Personal FM system. We are also in the process of getting new hearing aids. So, at this point, much is still up in the air and in “wait and see” mode.
I do appreciate your help, and value your input to help us with this process. I certainly welcome any other comments/advice, and will continue to monitor AC’s behavior as you suggested – but, I also would like to know how you can make that deduction regarding what is causing AC’s “extraneous movement” ?
I never did receive a response from her. So, instead, I asked the school to file my letter , attached to her report in his student file- and we continued on with all our other meetings, etc. Even after all this, and while we were in week 3 of trying out a Sound Field system – his teacher still wouldn’t let go of believing that his “issues” were not hearing related. She told me “AC is still needing reminders”, is “unorganized”, and “chatty”. She kept moving his seat away from anyone she thought he was talking to. She complained that he was asking her too many questions. ??? She actually assigned him a seat in the back off the room, sitting at a table with his BACK to her ?!?). When I mentioned this to her, she said, “Well, when I start talking they all turn around”. ?!?
I was so upset with this woman, but did all I could to not let it show to AC or get too outraged at the meetings, etc. I can understand that in the beginning she also didn’t know that AC’s hearing was the issue… but, you would think once presented with all kinds of info, and a concerned mom – you would change your tune. ? She never did. Perhaps, it was my own fault for not knowing the right way to approach or advocate. We were all learning.
It wasn’t until we had a special teacher of the deaf come in and observe AC in the classroom – who made many suggestions to the teacher – that the teacher started changing her attitude. Thankfully, we have not (YET! *knock on wood!*) encountered such a lack of understanding in any of his other teachers since. Of course, since then, we’ve also had the 504 plan in place – so, things were not so much a mystery or up in the air either.
Filed under: ADD, Behavioral, child hearing loss, educational needs, hearing loss, third grade | Tagged: ADD, Hard of Hearing, Hearing Disability, Hearing Impaired, hearing loss, mainstreaming, mild hearing loss |