Description: Malcom Gladwell, in various places writes and speaks about how in many areas of life but particularly in areas relating to health and wellbeing we have or are experiencing a shift in the task of figuring out how to make our lives and those of people around us better (healthier, longer, richer etc.). What Malcom points out it that while the tasks not many years ago typically involved puzzles which simply required attention and time/resources to fix today more of what we are contending with involve mysteries, which is a poetic way to say that the problems we contend with are more complicated these days and often require less obvious or simple resource solvable strategies. An example? Well, for years we have quite wisely held that it is important to screen infants and young children for all manner of developmental issues or challenges and why? Well because early detection can often lead to significant remediation. Take hearing. Infants with very poor hearing (as opposed to early autism), if not identified until later in childhood are uyp against the fact that the areas of their brains that would normally become dedicated to the processing of sound do not develop making it much more difficult if not impossible for them to do so if the child’s hearing deficit is not identified until they enter school. What to do, well, screen for severe hearing deficits in infancy, proscribe hearing aides to those who need them, and brain specialization proceeds as is typical – puzzle solved. But what about children with mild to moderate haring deficits? Well read the article liked below to see how the puzzle of early hearing deficits morphs into more of a mystery when less that profound deficits are considered.
Source: Mild-to-moderate hearing loss in children leads to changes in how the brain processes sound, Science News, ScienceDaily.
Date: October 1, 2019
Photo Credit: www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/health/early-intervention-crucial-for-children-with-hearing-loss-66771 and Getty Images
Notice that the solution to the issue of mild to moderate hearing deficits in early childhood (test for them) runs up against the fact that we are really not sure how to do that efficiently and effectively – a puzzle becomes a mystery. And while we are trying to figure that out we have a lot of children with mild to moderate hearing issues whose poorer than average language development and academic performance are being attributed to all sorts of other things and sorting all THAT out is indeed a mysterious challenge!
Questions for Discussion:
- What sorts of issues arise in childhood for children with mild to moderate hearing deficits?
- What should we do about this?
- What should we do about those children who’s mild to moderate hearing deficits may still be undiagnosed in their elementary school years?
References (Read Further):
Calcus, A., Tuomainen, O., Campos, A., Rosen, S., & Halliday, L. F. (2019). Functional brain alterations following mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss in children. eLife, 8, e46965. https://elifesciences.org/articles/46965.pdf
Sokol, J., & Hyde, M. (2002). Hearing screening. Pediatrics in Review, 23(5), 155-162. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/da62/7db38f584bdbda3b7e99bda3fc380b3dd5b5.pdf
Harlor, A. D. B., & Bower, C. (2009). Hearing assessment in infants and children: recommendations beyond neonatal screening. Pediatrics, 124(4), 1252-1263. https://scholar.google.ca/scholar?output=instlink&q=info:tyTtArmo-lMJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5&scillfp=5148455328883286077&oi=lle
Galenson, E., Miller, R., Kaplan, E., & Rothstein, A. (1979). Assessment of development in the deaf child. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 18(1), 128-142. https://www.jaacap.com/article/S0002-7138(09)60483-0/pdf
Cristobal, R., & Oghalai, J. S. (2008). Hearing loss in children with very low birth weight: current review of epidemiology and pathophysiology. Archives of Disease in Childhood-Fetal and Neonatal Edition, 93(6), F462-F468. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3597102/