Active children often annoy adults who want quiet. They have fun, play, and explore the world through games, forgetting about all the rules. At such moments, children can become distracted, not respond to requests and make ridiculous mistakes due to inattention.
There is nothing wrong with it. After all, these are rare behavioral phenomena that are dictated by the conditions of the situation. And most importantly, they do not violate the child’s adaptation to the social environment and do not interfere with the development of the individual.
However, this does not mean that parents should not analyze the behavior and reactions of their children. Frequent loss of concentration, poor grades in school, and impulsivity indicate problems in the child that should not be ignored. Be aware that such behavior can indicate ADD or childhood hearing loss. What do you pay special attention to in your child’s behavior? How can you help your child if they have problems? Let’s figure it out together and answer these questions!
What should you know about ADD?
The child’s strange behavior and learning disorder indicate that the child has some problems. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is the most common problem. According to statistics, about 5-10% of children and 3-5% of adults suffer from this disorder. At the same time, boys are more susceptible than girls.
ADD is a nervous system disorder characterized by neurological and behavioral abnormalities. The disorder is manifested by a violation of the central nervous system. The child is constantly distracted by something, cannot concentrate, his memory and learning ability are impaired. There are also difficulties in information processing. If we add hyperactivity and impulsivity to these symptoms, then we can already talk about ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Every child has different symptoms. For example, some children have two or more traits that influence their behavior. In other children, the predominance of only one of the symptoms may be expressed. The severity of symptoms changes with age. In 4-6 years, hyperactivity dominates in most cases. Inattention dominates in other age groups.
In any case, ADD negatively affects a child’s life, even if you notice one of the many signs. Doctors talk about difficulties in school, social, household areas, and everyday activities. Problems also arise in relationships with friends, peers, and relatives. After all, it is difficult for a child to learn generally accepted rules and meet social expectations.
Why do parents confuse hearing loss with ADHD?
Many adults have heard about ADD from their pediatrician or from school. Therefore, at the first symptoms, they rush to visit neurologists and psychologists. However, ADD can also mimic other disorders, such as childhood hearing loss. As a result, adults use the wrong treatment, which does not help and even aggravates the situation.
Indeed, children with hearing loss have symptoms similar to ADD. After all, even mild hearing loss significantly affects school performance. A child can miss up to half of the information! Of course, this greatly affects his grades at school and behavior in general. Why is it so easy to confuse ADD with hearing loss? For starters, they share many of the same symptoms. Dr. Stella Fulman points out signs that can make it easy for you to confuse the two disorders:
Poor grades in school
Loss of concentration
Difficulties in interacting with peers and loved ones
Lack of response when communicating
What diagnosis will the neurologist make with such signs? Of course, the doctor will say that the child has a learning disorder and ADD. Although in fact, the child might have hearing problems! According to recent studies, about 15% of schoolchildren have hearing loss!
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the number of diagnosed children with ADHD is increasing every year. And this means that the number of erroneous diagnoses is growing. According to hearing loss statistics, one out of every 1,000 newborns in the US has hearing loss in one or both ears. In addition, there are often cases when a child has both problems at the same time.
A comparative study of the intellectual development of high school students with healthy and impaired hearing showed that adolescents with impaired hearing have difficulties in establishing logical connections and relationships based on abstract material. They are three to four years behind their peers in development.
ADHD and hearing loss lead to developmental delays and social problems for the child. They have many similar symptoms, but there is one distinguishing feature that you should pay special attention to. As a rule, children with ADHD do not have problems with speech development, while kids with hearing loss experience certain difficulties.
How to help a child with suspected ADD or hearing loss?
Unfortunately, parents often make mistakes. The most unpleasant of them is aggression towards the child. Children misbehave, especially in society. Parents feel ashamed of the behavior of their children and scold them. This does not help, but only worsens the situation. The next mistake is a late visit to the doctor, although hearing care professionals do testing for children with hearing loss and prescribe the necessary treatment. Thus, adults miss the time when symptoms can be corrected. As a result, children suffer. They don’t do well in school, they can’t find friends, and so on.
The main factor in a successful treatment is early diagnosis, which will correctly identify the problem. Through infant hearing screening programs, doctors can identify hearing problems and prescribe appropriate treatment early. Depending on the degree of hearing loss, this could be pediatric hearing aids or cochlear implants, or simply treatment of fluid in the ears that can cause hearing loss. Thus, the child will not have trouble in development.
Please note that diagnosing hearing loss and ADD are different tests. At the same time, diagnosing childhood hearing loss is much easier and faster. Do not waste time if you notice the first symptoms in your child. Seek help from audiologists and other doctors if necessary. It is important to remember that treating hearing loss will benefit a child’s development, whether or not they have ADD.
About Dr Stella Fulman
Dr. Stella Fulman, AU.D., CCC-A received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Audiology from Brooklyn College in 2004 and her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in 2008. [ Learn More ]