WHAT IS SCHOOL HEARING SCREENING?

Reconnect currently conducts school screenings at more than 30 schools in the greater Durban area and even as far afield as Underberg.

Hearing screening conducted in schools is a process by which one is able to identify those children whose hearing falls within an acceptable range for learning in the classroom and which children need further assessment. As it is a screening procedure, it lacks the accuracy of a full diagnostic hearing assessment but allows a large number of children to be seen in a short period of time at a reasonable cost.

 WHY SCREEN CHILDREN’S HEARING?

Hearing is the fundamental sense through which we learn and is the primary input area for language and learning. If there is a problem in this area, it may affect all other areas of learning including attention, listening, memory, reading, spelling, speech production and writing amongst others. Research shows that for every one normal hearing child failing Grade One, ten children with a minimal hearing loss fail Grade One. These concerns are not limited to the junior primary or foundation phase, but are just as relevant in the senior primary and high school phases.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A HEARING SCREENING?

In this practice, it is first established whether there is any matter such as wax or debris in the ear canal which can affect the hearing levels. Following this, the middle ear system is assessed to exclude a treatable condition such as a middle ear infection. Finally, the hearing levels are assessed to establish whether hearing falls within the acceptable range or not. As with most hearing assessments, the test results depend on the demeanour and health of the child AT THE TIME OF TESTING.

WHAT DO THE RESULTS MEAN?

If your child has passed the hearing screening it means that on the day of assessment, hearing levels fell within an acceptable range. Regular hearing assessment is still recommended.

If your child did not pass the hearing screening, it means that at the time of testing there were factors that raised concerns for the audiologist, indicating the need for further and more extensive assessment. This may be the presence of wax in the ear canals, an ear infection, poor responses to the test stimuli, a child who found it difficult to respond appropriately in the assessment situation or a combination of these factors.

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