Childhood Hearing Loss and Classroom Accommodations


Approximately 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard of hearing ( Even more children may develop temporary or permanent hearing loss during their childhood. Common causes of childhood hearing loss include ear infections, ototoxic medications, meningitis, head injury, and noise exposure ( Hearing loss can impact a child’s speech and language development and their academic performance (; Modifications to the classroom environment is crucial to a child with hearing loss’ academic success. The following resource from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center further describes adaptations that can be made by the teacher and student to make the classroom a better learning environment. For more information, please see the website links below.

Article by Charlotte Thompson, B.S.


Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center- Audiology Division

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is when an individual acquires hearing loss due to the exposure of loud sounds. This exposure of a high-intensity sound can happen in a variety of settings, such as working in loud environments (e.g. construction, factory, military, etc.). or having hobbies that expose an individual to loud sounds (e.g. hunting, playing a musical instrument, attending concerts, etc.). These are just a few instances where noise can damage an individual’s ears permanently. Damage to the ears could be a one-time occurrence, or it could be a consistent exposure to noise. Hearing protection is the best way to prevent NIHL. If you know that you will be exposed to loud noises, wearing ear plugs or earmuffs can help protect your hearing. Hearing protection options can be purchased at various drugstores or online. A great rule to follow is if the environment seems loud enough where you would put earmuffs on a baby, then you should also be wearing protection. For more information on hearing protection and NIHL, visit


Article by Natalie Brooks, B.S.

Speech and Development in Children

Speech and language delays can be impactful on future development of children as well as their social development. Behaviors should be adopted to help reduce the negative effects of hearing impairment and improve overall health.  The first three years of life are the most intensive period for speech and language development. Children have the best development when they are exposed to a sound, sight, and language rich environment. 

Research has outlined major milestones that children should be meeting at different stages of the language development: 

·       From 4-6 months of age, children should be engaging in vocal play and babble sounds. 

·       7-12 months, children should be babbling consonant-vowel combinations with increasing variety. 

·       12-20 months, children should be pointing to objects that are named and recognize their own name. Children should use single words with more than 10-20 words by 18 months. 


If you ever have concerns about your child’s language development, avenues such as consulting your child’s doctor or visiting a speech/language pathologist can be beneficial. Services are available in Delaware County such as the Audiology and Speech-Language Clinic at Ball State to aid with concerns. 

The Healthy Lifestyle Center is available for consultation about concerns and will work to educate and provide the best referrals for future services. 

By Allison Blake

Sources: Health Information. (n.d.). Retrieved from; Photo by Ashton Bingham on Unsplash 

Impact of Hearing Loss and Preventative Measures to Improve Health


An estimated 25.4 million US residents aged 12 years or older have mild hearing loss. Hearing loss directly affects 23% of Americans 12 years or older. Hearing loss can be impactful in many areas of an individual’s life including: communication with others, thinking ability, diminished psychological health, etc. 

Some risk factors identified for hearing loss include: 

·     Family history, 

·     Maternal infections during pregnancy

·     Exposure to damaging noise levels

·     Recurrent middle ear infections or episode lasting < 3 months 


There are a number of steps that can be taken to prevent hearing loss. 

·     Individuals should have their hearing checked, on average, every three years. 

Age Range How often

18 to 45 year olds Every 5 years

45 to 60 year olds Every 3 years

60 years plus Every 2 years 

·     Take breaks from loud noises. 

·     Other preventative measures such as wearing earplugs or hearing protection should also be taken if you will be exposed to high levels of noise. 

The Healthy Lifestyle Center can provide hearing screenings and can assist with further recommendations on how to prevent hearing loss.

By Allison Blake


Sources: Fligor, B. J.  (2018) Hearing loss prevention. Better Institute Hearing. Retrieved from; Goman, A. M., & Li n, F. R.  (2016). Prevalence of hearing loss by severity in the united states. American Journal of Public Health; Routine hearing checks –how often? (n.d). Retrievedfrom: Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash