Have you heard?

People aren’t the only ones with interesting hearing mechanisms and facts. Check out these random tidbits about animal hearing from the Better Hearing Institute, Teachers Domain, and the University of Washington:

• Snakes do not have ears, but their tongues are sensitive to sound vibrations.
• Owls distinguish sound directions partly by measuring the difference in time it takes the sound to reach each ear. This difference is typically less than 200 millionths of a second!
• Cicadas have hearing organs in their stomachs
• Crickets have hearing organs in their knees; sound waves cause a thin membrane on the cricket’s legs to vibrate
• It is thought that owls can create an image of the world around them based only on sound, much like humans do with their eyes
• Although fish do not have ears, they can hear pressure changes through ridges on their bodies
• Dolphins can hear frequencies up to at least 100,000 Hz.  Compare this to a dog’s ability to hear up to 40,000 Hz and a person’s 20,000 Hz
• During World War I, the military kept parrots on France’s Eiffel Tower because their extra-sensitive hearing allowed them to warn of incoming enemy aircraft before any person could hear it
• All mammals have external ears, but many can move them to help pinpoint the direction of sounds. Some animals, like elephants, can even use their ears to stay cool by waving them like fans.

And you thought you could twitch your ears!

Signs of hearing loss in school

Many parents of children with hearing loss say they first realized there was a problem when their child started having issues in school. This situation is common because school requires children to integrate all of their senses and adapt them to a variety of activities. It is during this time that parents and teachers may notice a child is having difficulty hearing. According to the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center, adults should be alert for any of the following signs:

  • The child needs instructions repeated often;
  • The child has a short attention span;
  • The child has trouble recalling a sequence of instructions;
  • The child frequently misinterprets a command or set of instructions;
  • The child’s vocabulary is behind grade level;
  • The child does not always look up when his name is called;
  • The child has trouble learning the sounds of letters and phonics;
  • The child confuses words that sound alike;
  • The child is withdrawn in the classroom and is hesitant to participate;
  • The child ignores assignments that are given verbally.

These are only some of the warning signals that indicate a potential issue with hearing loss. If your child’s teacher reports seeing any of these things in the classroom, schedule a comprehensive examination with a pediatric audiologist on your True Care Advantage hearing care plan. He or she will evaluate your child and help find a potential cause of any existing hearing loss. An audiologist can also offer alternative learning methods help the child learn effectively and efficiently in school. With the help of school staff, parents can get an individualized education plan (IEP) for their child to make sure they have all the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.