Sunday, September 16, 2012

Silent Obstacles of the Hearing Impaired

Experiencing a silent world, like that of those who are hearing impaired, whom we encounter throughout our lives, including children in public schools and even family members, is frustrating, full of altered expression and special accommodations. It would seem quite helpful to get acquainted with what this kind of disability entails, for their sake. If you are a teacher, you might want to make sure students are truly listening, and if they are unable to because of such a reason as any kind of hearing inability, you might feel a need to help guide them and their family to the appropriate resources.
Distinguishing sound is a natural ability for most of us. We take it for granted, while many suffer the lack or complete non-presence of it. Loss of hearing does not only slowly enter into people's lives at an older age; sadly some children are born without the ability to hear, due to developmental complications. Some loose it partially or fully later in life.
36 million Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss, as the Hearing Loss Association of America informs. Studies report that one in six of these individuals were found to have signs. Furthermore, in the workplace, "as the hearing loss increases, so does the reduction in compensation," the HLAA notes. Hearing is so essential, yet so fragile.
First "consider the physical definition: Sound is a stimulus with the capability of producing an audible sensation. Any object with the properties of inertia and elasticity may be set into vibration and hence may produce a sound," an Introduction to The Fundamentals of Hearing, a second edition by Yost and Nielson informs. Sounds alert us for what is coming, like an alarm to signal the start of the day.
Many online articles mention how teenagers are at high risk of hearing loss due to listening to music too loudly, with newer technology allowing to blast the sound of their favorite artists to higher decibels. Music entertains this sense. Its high or low pitch may indicate the degree of someone's voice, while they try to communicate with another person. There are many functions to hearing we do not acknowledge most of the time, but technology is changing the obstacles that hearing impaired people face in gatherings with those without it.
The onset and progression of hearing loss may vary and extend at slow rates so being unaware of common sounds around anywhere is tricky, so here are some clues to spot the symptoms for adults:
• Denial always comes first, as people notice they hear but do not "understand": if an individual points out that people they come in contact with are mumbling more and more, they might be showing a sign of the early onset, which family and friends may notice before the actual person displaying them notices.
• If someone finds that soft everyday sounds, like a short "beep" coming out of a machine no longer makes noise while pushing a button, they might find that they have hearing loss.
• If someone needs the volume turned up too high on devices such as the television, or if they cannot make out what someone else is saying in a noisy environment, they might have hearing loss.
• Military exposure may have been a trigger in those individuals who served in combat.
Some symptoms to look out for in children are:
• If they seem like they are not paying attention, they might be hard of hearing, however children do tend to only pay attention on their own terms.
• If speech is developed late, or their speech seems different, they might have hearing loss.
• Poor self esteem, being bullied, or poor performance overall in school may also indicate it as feeling different, and not fully understanding everything may make them shy away from reaching out for help to school staff or their family.
It is harder to hear higher-pitched sounds than deeper ones. Furthermore, hearing screenings in classrooms should seem mandatory everywhere, but they are unfortunately not mandated in all states. The sooner someone gets help, the sooner they may enjoy being social and stop giving out the wrong impression. Now there are hearing aids available, sign language for the deaf community to better communicate, and closed captioning to aid their everyday activities in having an equal 

American Sign Language (ASL) is a special kind of language, as it is seen and not written. The Deaf Community takes advantage of its use everywhere. Moving both hands is essential, and making facial expressions is a must. Interestingly, like in other languages, accents are part of ASL, as a system of interpersonal communication.
Sixteenth century Europe brought about the first sign language into an applicable form, from which ASL stems from. It is the fourth most widely used language in the U.S. and the interest keeps peeking to this day.
Inflammation, infection, and even serious disease may cause the loss in hearing. Genetics and complications during pregnancy may also play part. As a result of hearing loss one of the least appealing side effects is personality change.
Hearing loss is an invisible condition which effects are barely noticed by many who do not suffer from it, so giving the topic the slightest attention is necessary, as people who suffer from it may not easily be informed on all that it may entail.
Technology with all its new user friendly applications is changing the lives of the hearing impaired in more ways now than ever. The internet is spreading fast news of advancement in the field. While we may not take the time to realize how important sound is to us, you have just kindly given it your attention, as now you realize that some cannot enjoy it perhaps as much as you are able to.

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