Identifying vision and hearing problems as early as possible is one of the main objectives when it comes to our youth. When a child has difficulty hearing or seeing it can have lifelong implications if not dealt with soon as possible (at the earliest age).
As a parent I was always concerned with my son not hearing or seeing something inappropriate. It never occurred to me that he could have genetic issues or problems resulting from the environment he was in. For instance, he has been an avid video gamer his whole young life. Until this lesson, I did not realize that constant, loud and repetitive sounds were not good for his hearing. So that race car going around and around the track making a lot of noise was not a good way for him to spend his time as a preschool or elementary school student. It may have impacted him academically.
After viewing videos on both vision and hearing on the Changing Brains: Effects of Experience on Human Bran Development website, I have a new found respect for our fragile youth.
“In the first few years of life, hearing is a critical part of kids’ social, emotional, and cognitive development. Even a mild or partial hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to speak and understand language (kidshealth.org).”
As a teacher I am not just concerned with one student, but I must observe all of them for any hint of hearing or vision defects. Although by the time they reach middle school there should have been early detection, the truth is our youth remain fragile for many years. Especially those in under-served/impoverished communities. They remain at-risk due to environmental issues such as poor nutrition, exposure to alcohol and drugs, and often a lack of routine pediatric visits. The school nurse becomes the primary medical source for those kids.
“Children should be examined by an eye doctor during infancy, preschool, and school years to detect potential vision defects. Did you know that a child can pass the 20/20 test and still have significant vision problems which will interfere in school, sports and/or social life (children-special-needs.org)?”
The ears and eyes are connected to the command center (a.k.a. BRAIN). Early detection and remedy of any issues concerning sight and sound could make the difference in the life of a young person who aspires to be a healthy, happy adult one day.