Advocating at School

Post by: Ellie Adams

Success in school is never easy—and for kiddos and teenagers with hearing loss this can be made even more complicated. Imagine being in school and struggling to hear for 8 hours, 5 days a week.  It would be exhausting!! Students with hearing loss face this problem more often than you’d think, and sometimes hearing aids just aren’t enough. Schools and classrooms typically consist of hard tile floors, brick walls, and no curtains—making them a bit of an acoustic nightmare.

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So how can you advocate for your student? There are a number of strategies students and teachers can work on implementing together. The simplest and often times most effective strategy is preferential seating. If your child has hearing loss, talk to their teacher to make sure that they are sitting in the front of the room and facing the teacher.  This alone will make a big difference! It saves the student from straining all day long to hear and it keeps the teacher from having to strain his or her voice.

If your student continues to struggle with the help of hearing aids and preferential seating, teachers and schools may need use something called an  FM System. An FM system consists of a microphone that the teacher wears around his/her neck and a transmitter that transmits the sound directly to the student’s hearing aids via a FM signal. FM systems aren’t only for kiddos with hearing loss—studies have shown that they are significantly beneficial for everyone! Even children with normal hearing often times have difficulty in classroom settings and benefit from additional amplification of their teacher’s voice!

Remember, you have lots of resources at your fingertips if you are struggling to find a solution to hearing at school. Your audiologist, school administration, and teachers are all there to help your student succeed!