What is Minimal Hearing Loss?
There is a special category we use with children that is called a “minimal” or “borderline” hearing loss. This category means that, unlike a typical hearing loss, hearing aids are not warranted for amplification (they can be recommended for other technological benefits they offer).
The pink area shown on the audiogram above is the minimal or borderline area.
Why is This Important?
Why create this category?
Because the research shows that children with this level of hearing acuity do poorly academically and/or socially.
This is the red flag area for professionals who know of this research.
Unfortunately, too many are not familiar with the research. This leads them to rely on a hearing screening to determine whether hearing and listening may be contributing to your child’s learning difficulties. (See why the use of a screening is insufficient here.)
There are specific supports an educational or developmental audiologist would recommend be included on an IEP for such a child. Because, while the degree of loss may be minimal, the impact on learning and communication is significant. To appreciate just how significant, reportedly as much as 90% of early learning is incidental learning. This is learning that a child accumulates from observing others around him, this occurs mostly from overhearing. In school, most of the instruction is auditory, with some visual support is you’re lucky.
But in order for a child to get the auditory access he needs to optimize his learning, you first need to catch the auditory issue and then have the appropriate supports put in an IEP.
While there are many professionals who can administer a hearing screening, only an audiologist will do a hearing test.
If your child’s audiogram shows his or her hearing falls in the minimal/borderline category for either ear, at any frequency and your child has communication, learning or balance concerns you want the expertise of a targeted professional with mastery in the area you need.
An educational audiologist would help you identify the specific supports you need to have included in your child’s IEP. This includes the technology and the environmental modifications necessary to facilitate optimal auditory access. This would also include the auditory training and teacher accommodations appropriate for your child’s specific needs.
As a developmental audiology practice, Hearing Kids offers the educational supports you know you need, as well as developmental supports. This includes catching middle ear fluid issues and eliminating them once and for all. This also includes identifying retained infantile reflexes and an over or under reactive acoustic reflex that may be inhibiting development.
To avoid developmental auditory processing disorder and related sensory processing disorders you want to be vigilant in catching middle ear fluid and eliminate the underlying cause ASAP.
Need a consult to learn how to catch this frustratingly fluctuating condition? Schedule a consult here
Need an assessment for your concerns regarding your child’s development in communication or learning? Schedule here