Tinnitus MS - Can Your Child Become a Hearing Test Victim?
It was a average school day for twenty-year classroom teaching veteran, Ms. Kalie Posey, to the exclusion of that she had to learn what kind of special intervention to recommend for one of her struggling students, second grader, Lexie Tunstil. Tinnitus MS
Lexie was two quality numbers below her predicted reading comprehension level. What initially caught Ms. Posey's eye was that Lexie was having difficulty listening in the classroom, especially when there was a lot of background noise competing with the teacher's verbal presentations. The teacher also noticed that Lexie had difficulty understanding when a talker spoke rapidly or distorted the words by speaking with an unfamiliar accent.
Additionally, when Ms. Posey observed that Lexie couldn't attend to and concentrate on some of her most simple directions, she was convinced that Lexie had a hearing problem of sorts. The worse part of it is that over a period of time, children like Lexie become exhausted trying to comprehend the distorted verbal message and so the easiest way out is to "tune-out" the entire verbal mess. These kinds of situations become learning disasters because the Lexies of the world miss out on much of the critical verbal -language material being presented in the classroom.
But fear not, because Ms. Posey had been confronted with similar situations during her tenure and knew exactly what to do...she referred Lexie to the school nurse for a standard audiometric hearing test. Lexie may have a hearing loss, it happens many times. Three days later, Ms. Posey received the hearing test results and much to her surprise, Lexie was given a clean bill of ear and hearing health. She passed the hearing test with flying colors, meaning no peripheral hearing loss! But wait, perhaps she does have a hearing deficiency, except that it could be a "central hearing" deficit instead of peripheral.
The audiometric test only assessed the integrity of the peripheral hearing mechanism, the ears. This is a very important hearing evaluation procedure because for the auditory portion of the brain to be able to comprehend a verbal message, the ears must be capable of receiving the acoustic signal, process and analyze the frequencies of sounds (vibrations) that make up the language material, and then transmit the information to the auditory part of the brain, where further processing and analysis occur before the brain can comprehend the verbal message. Tinnitus MS
The ears by themselves cannot understand verbal content...they only assist the auditory cortex of the brain in doing so. Neuro-audiologists and speech-language pathologists refer to this listening process eg: "central hearing function" (as opposed to peripheral hearing); "auditory perception"; "brain listening function"; and the current professional description of choice, "central auditory processing disorder (CAPD)".
So the upshot of the teacher's conundrum is that she made the proper referral, but unfortunately future teachers in colleges of education are rarely taught that a standard audiometric "hearing test" only provides information about the integrity of the peripheral hearing mechanism. (The confusion is not the teacher's fault!)
It provides zero information about how well the central mechanism of hearing - in the brain - is performing, while attempting to decode and understand the complex incoming verbal message. So what does all of this have to do with Lexie and millions of schoolchildren like her? This is where the confusion and educational calamity begins. Since Lexie "passed" the hearing test, the common assumption among teachers and some specialists, is that Lexie has no hearing problem. Tinnitus MS
The tragedy is that children like Lexie are passed-over for proper central hearing testing and auditory intervention and become part of the millions of children worldwide who struggle in remedial school settings without significant improvement, because they are not provided with the critical "central auditory abilities" which make up brain listening function. Without these auditory receptive-language skills it is virtually impossible for these children to develop normal speech-language, reading and writing skills. Suffering from Tinnitus and Ringing in Ear? Get your life back forever by checking out Tinnitus MS now.