The Bullied and Hearing Loss
Bullying is a serious problem in many U.S. schools; it is estimated that 30 percent of students in grades 6-10 have been involved in some sort of a bullying incident. While there are no specific data on the number of children with disabilities who are targeted, research suggests that children with noticeable disabilities (such as hearing aids and cochlear implants) may be twice as likely to be bullied.
Signs of Bullying
•Refusal to go to school or sudden lack of interest in school.
•Change in grades.
•No longer shows interest in family or school activities.
•Appears sad or angry after a phone call/text message/email.
•Does or says something that is out of character.
There are reports that some teens with hearing loss are refusing to wear their hearing aids at school for fear of being bullied, or as a result of already being bullied by classmates. Students with hearing loss who are not wearing their hearing aids are at a greater risk of failing in school since they are not hearing what the teachers and their classmates are saying. Unfortunately, as parents we cannot protect or prevent our children from having to deal with hurtful situations. But what we can do is to make sure that they are aware that these situations may occur and that they are prepared to deal with them. Do give your child some space to solve their own problems so they are able to test and develop their skills, but also remain alert and aware of changes in your child’s emotions and behavior.