2010 PRESCHOOL HEARING TESTS
A "RESOUNDING" SUCCESS.
This year for the first time our preschool testing took place over four days and included Davis as well as Woodland. A total of 163 preschool aged children from eight preschools were screened for possible hearing loss. Fourteen children failed the test and were advised to have their hearing checked again by a doctor and an audiologist. Hearing is vital to success in school. Accomplishing first-grade reading skills relies on careful listening. These skills include knowing the difference between letters, words, and sentences, and figuring out what a word is by sounding out the letters. Local preschool hearing tests have been sponsored in Woodland and in Davis by Hear! Here!, local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America [HLAA], with funding supplied by Woodland Reveille Lions Club, the Community Benefit Committee of Woodland Healthcare, and Soroptimists International of Davis.
The article below, which ran in the Daily Enterprise, discusses the Davis Testing. Kathy Glatter who's son is mentioned in the article is one of Hear! Here!'s Advisory Board Members.
Preschoolers' screening catches hearing loss early
By Laurie Loving
Special to The Enterprise
May 27, 2010 09:17
Thanks to the efforts of a local physician, dozens of Davis preschoolers have been screened for hearing loss. Early detection is key, she says.
'We were devastated to learn that our beautiful little boy was hearing-impaired, especially late in the game, at age 6,' said Kathy Glatter, M.D., a Woodland Healthcare cardiologist and mother of Jack Maurantonio, now 7. 'Because his hearing loss developed after he had acquired language, Jack is very verbal and you would never dream he had a hearing loss.'
Glatter was frustrated with the teacher's frequent reports that Jack was 'not listening and not following directions.' Last year, after ruling out ADHD, she took him to an audiologist, who diagnosed a moderate to severe conductive hearing loss in the right ear.
'Jack tested normal at birth. They think it developed during repeated ear infections, although I obviously took him to the pediatrician and Jack took the antibiotics, got ear tubes and had his tonsils and adenoids removed.'
Glatter was most disturbed by the fact that Jack had passed the routine hearing screening at the pediatrician's office at ages 5 and 6.
'Actually, their screening totally missed that he had become pretty much deaf in his right ear,' she said. 'I thought this would only happen to kids that don't get to a doctor.'
If Jack had been in public kindergarten, the state-mandated screening would have picked it up, but he was in private school, which does not test. Preschools do not routinely provide hearing screenings either.
'What if I had not requested a specialist? We would still think Jack had normal hearing! It bothered me that other children may be in school with an undiagnosed hearing loss,' Glatter said.
Seeking a solution, she contacted the Hear! Here! support group for hard-of-hearing people in Woodland and was soon asked to join its advisory board. The group coordinates with the Agency for Hearing in Sacramento to provide hearing screenings at Woodland preschools for a reasonable fee. A nonprofit, the agency sends mobile hearing screening vans to schools all over Northern California to provide the state-mandated tests to more than 100,000 children in kindergarten through high school.
Impassioned, Glatter got busy finding funding for the Davis preschools. She sent out four proposals and got positive responses from two sources.
'My practice is with Woodland Healthcare and they donated $1,000. Soroptimist International of Davis contributed $500,' she said. 'I am so grateful that both groups understood the importance of identifying children with hearing loss as early as possible.'
Earlier this month, a total of 58 children at Davis Parent Nursery School and University Covenant Nursery School were tested for hearing loss. Two days later, 44 children were screened at LaRue Park and Russell Park Child Development Centers.
'Out of 102 preschoolers, ages 4 and 5, 12 failed the test,' Glatter said. 'One child's hearing loss was in both ears, at ... over 50 percent in laymen's terms. I gave all the parents the screening results, and we recommended they go to an audiologist for follow-up and more in-depth testing. They were surprised, but grateful for the screening.'
Glatter is still learning to cope with her son's hearing loss.
'This is not what parents plan for, but Jack loves his hearing aid and wears it all the time. He is doing much better at school now, and next fall the teacher will wear a microphone that transmits wirelessly to the hearing aid (an FM system). I'm happy that our preschool hearing tests can find other kids like Jack and help them!'
For information on preschool testing, contact Glatter at k_ firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on hearing loss for all ages, contact Claire Childers, Hear! Here! chapter leader, at email@example.com