Children who struggle with reading should be screened for hearing problems: study

Children who struggle with reading should be screened for hearing problems: study
From Global News - October 6, 2017

Children with dyslexia often suffer from hearing problems unbeknownst to their parents and teachersthat can exacerbate their struggles with reading and writing, new research has found.

For the study, researchers at Coventry University in the U.K., asked 195 children to complete a battery of tests to demonstrate their understanding and use of word structures and sounds. One in four participants who had reading difficulties were found to suffer from mild to moderate hearing impairment.

However, none of the parents of children with dyslexia had any clue that their children had some degree of hearing loss.

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The study also found that one in three children with a history of ear infections also had problems with reading and writing.

According to lead researcher Helen Breadmore, even mild hearing loss can have a significant impact on childrens ability to pick up reading skills.

A mild-moderate hearing losswill make the perception of speech sounds difficult, particularly in a classroom environment with background noise and other distractions, Breadmore said. Therefore, children who have suffered repeated ear infections and associated hearing problems have fluctuating access to different speech sounds precisely at the age when this information is crucial in the early stages of learning to read.

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