Children who have hearing difficulties can find listening all day in school and classes to be exhausting work, according to an article in the May 2015 edition of The Hearing Journal.
Defining The Challenge
The author, Dr Ryan McCreery, of Boys Town National Research Hospital Omaha, writes:
Specifically, the task of understanding and processing speech degraded by the child’s hearing loss or the presence of background noise requires the allocation of cognitive resources to support understanding and learning. This increased demand on mental effort has a cumulative effect on the child over an entire day of listening to parents, teachers, and friends in noisy environments.
Acoustic management in classrooms can involve technology and practical tips as relevant.
What Can We Do?
Noting that “cognitive fatigue from mental exertion during listening tasks is the most concerning type for school-age children with hearing loss”, Dr McCreery suggests the children access modern digital noise-reduction devices, to expend minimal listening effort.
Classroom captions give students the opportunity to “hand-off” listening to their eyes, by reading scrolling text as dialogue is relayed in a learning session. One bonus, is having a full set of notes after class, to review and consolidate the learning in their own time.
Time out during a school day is also priceless, like going to a quiet room for a short break or (for older students) a brief walk in the campus grounds.