Many children are born with some level of sensory loss. For others, however, this may develop over time. When left untreated, these issues can often become worse, and in some instances, may result in permanent damage. This is why it’s important for children to receive annual sensory screening from trained specialists.
Hearing Issues and the Importance of Regular Screenings
For every 1,000 children that are born in the United States, approximately two or three have a detectable level of hearing loss in either one or both ears. In cases where an early diagnosis can be made, these children may be able to benefit from a variety of interventions.
In the absence of an existing hearing loss diagnosis, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that children should have their hearing screened for the first time prior to their beginning school. After their first screening at age six, they should have their hearing screened again at ages eight and ten. Following this, children should have their hearing screened a minimum of one time during middle school and again during high school.
Currently, 20% of teenagers have some form of hearing loss. This amounts to 30% more teenagers than in the 1980s and 1990s. Since a large percentage of teenagers use digital devices, this may be one of the contributing factors.
Vision Issues and the Importance of Regular Screenings
The National Commission on Vision and Health reports that 25% of school-age children experience vision issues. Furthermore, if these children had been properly screened prior to entering school, their vision issues could have been addressed. It was also found that for children between the ages of five and 17, one out of every four has a vision problem.
According to recent studies, 79% of children haven’t had their vision checked by an eye care provider within the past 12 months. Just as digital devices can affect a child’s hearing, they can also affect his or her vision. On a daily basis, over 40% of parents within the United States have reported that their children use digital devices for three or more hours.
Address Student Needs With Vision and Hearing Screenings
A student-focused school realizes the importance of addressing individual student needs. This includes providing and/or outsourcing trained specialists that can conduct regular vision and hearing screenings. When students receive these screenings on a regular basis, any issues that may present themselves should be addressed at that time.
When students experience these and other types of sensory issues, trained specialists are also essential to provide additional resources. In this way, students will be better equipped to succeed in school.