Children who are hard of hearing will find it much more difficult than children who have normal hearing to learn vocabulary, grammar, word order, and other aspects of verbal communication.¹ In the United States, out of the 5.7 million students with disabilities in public schools, 70 thousand received services for hearing loss.¹
Education for children with hearing impairments is possible with the use of sign language and special medical devices. There are even some specialized schools in school districts that only offer schooling to children with hearing impairments.
If hearing impairments go ignored for the beginning of a child’s school education it can lead to learning and behavioral problems as early as kindergarten.² By the third and fourth year of school, children with undiagnosed hearing disorders may struggle to cope with the increasing complexity of language, social interaction, and verbal communication. Poor academic performance can feed into low self-esteem or feelings of isolation or depression.²
An audiologist or a healthcare professional can test a child’s hearing.
Educators and parents of students with visual impairments have pioneered special education and inclusive program options for almost 160 years.³ The field of education of visually impaired students was the first to develop special education programs, beginning with a specialized school in 1829.³
Students with visual impairments have unique educational needs with are most effectively met using a team approach of professionals, parents, and students.³ Students must have specialized services, books, and materials in braille as well as specialized equipment to use technology. There must also be a full range of program options and support services so that the IEP team can select appropriate placement in learning environments.³
1. The Prevalence and Incidence of Hearing Loss in Children. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/disorders/children.htm
2. Cochlear. Hearing loss at school. Retrieved May 21, 2014, http://www.cochlear.com/wps/wcm/connect/au/home/understand/my-child-has-hl/hl-at-school
3. American Foundation for the Blind. Educating Students With Visual Impairments for Inclusion in Society. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://www.afb.org/section.aspx?FolderID=3&SectionID=44&TopicID=189&DocumentID=1344
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