According to Rasim Şahin, Clinical Audiology Specialist of Çukurova University ENT Department, the desired level of progress in the developmental areas of children with hearing loss is only possible with early cochlear implant surgery.
Experts point out that early actions in the treatment of hearing loss also affect the academic success of children. According to Rasim Şahin, Clinical Audiology Specialist of Çukurova University ENT Department, who stated that very severely deaf children can show a very limited development with a hearing aid, these children could only communicate by lip-reading, they were not accepted to normal schools, and they had to go to schools for the hearing-impaired.
Noting that especially with the newborn hearing screening program of the Ministry of Health, implant surgery is reduced to 1 year old, Şahin states that these children show language development like their peers in early hearing and early rehabilitation.
Severe hearing loss requires cochlear implants
Stating that the classification of hearing is made according to the results of some hearing tests, Şahin said, "We evaluate by applying all test batteries in our clinic. According to these test results, we classify hearing losses up to 25 dB as normal, between 26-40 dB as mild, between 41-60 dB as moderate, between 61-80 dB as advanced, and above 81dB + as very severe. Children with mild to moderate hearing loss can develop like their peers with a suitable hearing aid and auditory rehabilitation.
Although very few of the children with advanced hearing loss show improvement with hearing aids and auditory rehabilitation, there are problems such as insufficient language development, inability to understand spoken words, inability to express oneself, inability to understand in noise, etc. in their daily life and school life. They experience serious difficulties in situations and lag behind their peers in all areas of development. For this reason, almost all children with severe to profound hearing loss need a cochlear implant. He said that cochlear implant treatment is covered by SSI.
Teachers of hearing-impaired students have a lot of work to do
Stating that the teachers of hearing-impaired children also have a lot of work to do, Şahin said, "Our most important expectation from our teachers is that they accept our children and believe that these children can succeed when appropriate environments are provided. He said: “We should motivate and encourage our deaf children and their families, guide other students about attitudes and support for our deaf children, cooperate with experts and guidance, be willing to use the FM device, and seat the student in the middle or the front row where they can see them more easily.”
Regular audiological follow-up is a must
Şahin, listing the things that should be done for the academic success of students with hearing loss, said, “Regular audiological follow-up, long-term and effective use of hearing aids or cochlear implants, learning and applying effective communication methods, realizing that the language development of the hearing-impaired child is not limited to educational sessions. It is important to use every opportunity for language development and to ensure the contribution of all family members.”
Distance education of students with hearing loss
FM system, mini microphone, etc. for students with hearing loss. In addition to the devices, there are accessories that make it easier to watch TV, talk on the phone and listen to music. Since most of these devices are wireless, they are easy and comfortable to use. It connects to sound processors using Bluetooth technology. Especially during the pandemic period, children and adult users contribute a lot to business meetings and phone calls in distance education.