ESD offers free hearing tests to school age children

October 19, 2021

ESD offers free hearing tests to school age children

West Shore School News is a service of West Shore Educational Service District in partnership with Mason County Press and Oceana County Press.

By Kim Beardslee, MCP/OCP Correspondent. 

AMBER TOWNSHIP — Hearing loss in children can lead to speech and language delays which can affect school performance. Each year the West Shore Educational Service District provides hearing tests for 20-30 students at no cost for the students or their families.

Sarah Hresko, WSESD teacher consultant for students with hearing loss, said in recent years five students have been identified as having a permanent hearing loss and have qualified for special education services. Hresko collaborates with a certified audiologist to determine what equipment address might be needed to meet the need for children with hearing loss in the general education classroom and specific student needs.

“Just this past year the Ear Lab identified a kindergartener named Jared with permanent hearing loss enrolled in the Ludington Area School District,” Hresko said,

“As a result of hearing testing at Ear Lab, this child was referred to an ENT specialist, fitted with hearing aids, and now receives my teacher consultant services. Although children with hearing loss can be at a disadvantage in the general education classroom, the services and equipment I am able to provide through WSESD are key in ensuring their success and self-confidence. I am thankful to be able to work with these amazing children and their families.”

“Sarah has been with us every step of the way, assisting Jared in receiving the help he needs to be successful at school,” Jared’s father said. “Once he received his hearing aids, Sarah was in the classroom the very next day. She was there to not only help Jared but to help his teacher and classmates with the adjustments that needed to be made for success. Sarah went over the acoustics of the classroom, making sure Jared was in the correct spot for the best hearing. She tried surround sound speakers, bluetooth microphones, and other things to make sure that Jared was hearing the best he could. She taught the teacher how to change the hearing aid batteries and the classroom about hearing aids. She’s a true educator. Sarah will follow Jared all the way through school, from K-12. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that our son will have Sarah as an advocate all the way through the years until the day he graduates!”

The WSESD Ear Lab – Audiology Service is available for any student, general or special education, within the WSESD area, which encompasses Lake, Mason, and Oceana counties. There is no requirement for insurance and an ID not required.  The upcoming hearing test dates are October 28, December 9, March 10, and May 12.

To register for a hearing test contact Sarah Hresko at 231-898-1617 or [email protected].org.

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