Much of the information that children take in during their early learning years is through auditory stimulation, as they do not yet have the ability to obtain information via reading. This makes the presence of a hearing impairment even more educationally detrimental to preschool students than it is to older pupils. To ensure that these pupils are capable of learning effectively, teachers use an assortment of tools.
Upon being diagnosed with a hearing impairment, students who have partial hearing are often fitted with a hearing aid. This device amplifies sound so that the student is better able to take in auditory stimulation. With a hearing aid, a preschooler’s hearing level, depending on the degree of her impairment, may be able to be brought back into normal levels.
Hearing-impaired students may be better able to take in information when they wear headphones. By using headphones, struggling pupils can benefit from the reduction or elimination of ambient background noise. This noise reduction allows them to use what hearing they do have to obtain information without having to struggle.
In some cases, hearing-impaired preschool students can benefit when the teacher wears a microphone. Students can listen to an amplified version of the teacher’s instructions, ensuring that the pupil does not have to struggle to hear what is being said.
Some preschool students are not capable of participating in regular story time due to their hearing impairment. Teachers can make participation possible by providing the student with an audio book. The student can then listen to the book at a volume level comfortable for her, no matter how loud that level may be, and follow along to develop her phonetic skills.
Reading Education Computer Program
Students whose hearing impairment makes it impossible for them to follow along with direct reading instruction may benefit from the use of a reading education computer program. Many programs are available that move through the alphabet letters and numbers, pronouncing each for the learner. Through the use of this program, the student can listen with the aid of headphones and learn the basics of pronunciation as well as build counting and alphabet skills.