When talking about educational staffing, it is important to discuss serving the needs of the children of the community. Educational staffing should always be focused on student needs, and educational staffing responsibly often means hiring trained specialists to perform vision and hearing screening tests on the population of children. Educational staffing also includes guidance counselors, nurses, and specialized educators such as speech therapists. These educational professionals make up have of the public school workforce in the United States.
For instance, educational staffing processes should include specialists that have training in both vision and hearing loss and problems, both of which are incredibly common among children today – and only becoming more so. For instance, nearly half of all children use one electronic device or more for at least three hours a day. Studies have shown that this high usage can contribute to vision and hearing problems. By the time they reach their teenage years, nearly twenty percent of all children have a noticeable hearing loss, a rate that is thirty percent higher than just a few decades ago, showing an increased number of hearing problems all throughout the United States.
Hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors. One of the most common causes of hearing loss is exposure to noises that are too loud. This can happen due to exposure to electronic devices but can also be caused in places such as concerts and other loud music venues, popular among teens. Some forms of hearing loss originate at birth, with as many as three out of every one thousand children experiencing hearing loss from the day that they were born.
Vision problems that often necessitate the full time use of contacts or glasses are likewise common all throughout the United States, with twenty five percent of all children older than seven and younger than seventeen requiring some method of vision correction. Many of these problems – up to twenty five percent of them – could have been diagnosed and treated much earlier had there been more comprehensive vision screening processes for young children.
Vision and hearing screening is an important consideration for those who are in charge of educational staffing. Though it may seem like an area that is easy to cut out if there are problems with the budget, vision and hearing screening is crucial to diagnosing vision and hearing loss and treating it in young children, as nearly eighty percent of all children not currently diagnosed with a vision problem had not seen an eye doctor in the past year. And children who are without health insurance, it has been found, are even less likely to have access to the diagnosis or treatment of vision problems, even minor ones.
And it is recommended that vision and hearing screening tests begin to be conducted from a young age, with the first of these tests conducted before the child ever enters school. Once a child is in school, vision and hearing screening tests should be conducted with relative frequency – when they are six, when they are eight, and when they are ten. The need for such frequent vision and hearing screening tests slows at this point, but every student should have at least one screening in middle school and at least one screening test in high school.
It is important to staff our schools responsibly, providing students with the resources that they need. Vision and hearing screening tests are one such thing that all schools should provide to their students, as vision loss and hearing loss are far too underdiagnosed in the United States.