Virginia AHPERD_Winter2022

Social Benefits of Recess for Students with Hearing Impairments Kylie M. Casey , Undergraduate Elementary Education Major, Longwood University Matthew D. Lucas, Ed.D., C.A.P.E. Health, Recreation and Kinesiology, Longwood University Introduction

• Not responding when you ask a question the first time • Difficulty with the pronunciation of certain words (Shah, 2022, pg. 1) • Continuously asking someone to speak slower or more pre cisely. (HL - Symptoms and Causes, 2021, pg. 1 Having HI can cause a child to be bullied by fellow peers or lead to depression as a lack of participation in social events (Depres sion in hearing-impaired children, 2011). This may also impact their academics as they are statistically shown to miss “50% of classroom discussions,” leading to a decrease in understanding topics and grades dropping (Hearing Loss Facts and Statistics, 2018, pg. 1). These students who face HI tend to remove them selves from large groups to not draw attention to themselves. This causes them to feel isolated and possibly start to form depressive thoughts due to not having many friends and not feeling included in a classroom. (Depression in hearing-impaired children, 2011). This can ultimately decrease the social benefits of a child often gained in schools, including during recess. Social Benefits of the Recess Setting for Children with HI The social benefits that students can gain from recess are numer ous. Recess is a time for students to practice their social skills and work out situations using problem-solving. Socialization includes learning to communicate and learning expected proper behaviors. Children learn how to accept each other and value individual dif ferences. For students with HI, social cues are sometimes harder to pick up because the tone of voice plays a crucial part. By being able to practice picking up on social cues without using tone, students with HI will be better prepared for real-life scenarios. Wilson and Valent (2013) state that during recess, “children learn valuable communication skills, including negotiation, cooperation, sharing and problem-solving as well as coping skills such as perseverance and self-control” (p. 1). Recess Modifications for Children with HI As noted previously, recess is a great setting for potential obtainment of the social benefits for students with HI. However, classroom teachers will need to make modifications for students with HI in the recess setting. The following is a list of possible modifications that a teacher can implement. • Teaching basic sign language in the classroom so students could use sure signs during recess time. Examples could be the signs for the words/phrases “start”, “stop”, “would you like to”, “ball”, “more”, and “less”. • If the HI student is comfortable with it and knows sign lan guage, they could also have time in the classroom to teach a new word every day before recess. This could help boost participation in recess • Creating games that do not include speaking, like silent ball, where students pass a ball back and forth but cannot speak so

Students with hearing impairments participating in recess can be a challenge, but it can also benefit the students. There are mul titude positive results that can be attributed to active participation in recess such as an increase in social skills, problem-solving, and an increase in movement. This article will focus on the social benefits of the recess setting. The manuscript will provide the definition, characteristics and symptoms, and causes of hearing impairments. Increasing active participation and addressing the social skills of students with hearing impairments in recess will be discussed. Finally, the authors will present modifications that can be provided for students with hearing impairments in this setting. Definition and Prevalence of Hearing Impairments The Individuals with Disabilities EducationAct defines Hearing Impairment (HI) as “an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational perfor mance” (IDEA, Sec. 300.8 (c), 2018). In order for someone to hear, “sound waves pass through the outer ear and cause vibrations at the eardrum. The eardrum and three small bones of the middle ear amplify the vibrations as they travel to the inner ear. The vibra tions pass through fluid in a snail-shaped structure in the inner ear (cochlea) “(Hearing Impairment, 1). If one part of this complex system gets injured, the individual’s hearing will be affected. Statistics published by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (Quick StatisticsAbout Hearing, 2021) note that about 3 out of every 1,000 children are born with some kind of HI, and approximately 30 million children 12+ and older have hearing loss in both ears. Research about students with deafness shows that only 1.3% of students at school are completely deaf (Garberoglio et al., 2019 p. 1). Causes of HI There are numerous causes for hearing loss, according to Cla son (2020), including factors that are environmental and heredity. Clason (2020) notes that there are significant factors of hearing loss depending on the degree. • Genetics • Ear infections that are not treated • Chronic exposure to loud music • Old age: This is because as we get older, the nerve cells inside our ears start to deteriorate, impacting our hearing (p. 1) Noting the list above, for children genetics would be the lead ing cause. Characteristics of HI People with hearing loss may wait up to 7 years until they seek out help. For ages 1-5, there is a shorter period. As a toddler, if a child does not respond to sounds, you are immediately tested.

Some symptoms for children might be; • Difficulty talking or starting to talk

6 • Virginia AHPERD • WINTER 2022

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