TOOWOOMBA CATHOLIC SCHOOLS HEARING HEALTH PROGRAM GETTING RESULTS
“Toowoomba Catholic Schools is leading the way nationally in identifying hearing health as a key factor in children’s learning success. We have engaged audiologists to work across all of our schools and they have found many children have hearing loss that was not previously diagnosed,” said Dr Pat Coughlan, Executive Director: Catholic Schools.
A new hearing health program has been launched by Toowoomba Catholic Schools that teaches children and their parents how to identify, manage and prevent hearing loss.
“The learning and behaviour of these children was being effected and it wasn’t until the audiologist visit that their hearing loss was identified as the cause. For some, their diagnosis was for a hearing condition that could have been fatal if not treated.”
Specific support has been made available by Toowoomba Catholic Schools to these students through specialist recommended adjustments to teacher planning and the results have been remarkable.
“For these students, their learning and behaviour has changed significantly. They are now engaged learners enjoying success academically and socially.”
Parents too report that they are grateful to Toowoomba Catholic Schools, particularly those in western communities.
“We knew that access to audiology and treatment for hearing conditions was limited in our western school communities. We hoped this type of service would be embraced by families, and it has been,” said Dr Coughlan.
To encourage hearing health for all students, Toowoomba Catholic Schools has produced a series of information brochures, lesson plans for teachers and an animated video encouraging students to ‘Breath, Blow, Cough, Wash, Chew’.
“By teaching students how to keep their hearing healthy, we may be able to prevent future hearing loss. For primary students this is through our ‘Breath, Blow, Cough, Wash, Chew’ campaign. For secondary students, it is about raising awareness about how their hearing is impacted through the use of poor quality earbuds, loud recreational activities and ear infections and asking questions that make them more aware that they may have a hearing loss that needs attention,” said Dr Coughlan.
“We know that if treated early, most hearing loss is preventable.”
Further information about the Hearing health program can be found on the Toowoomba Catholic Schools website. https://www.twb.catholic.edu.au/about-us/policies-and-publications/hearing-health-program/