In recognition of ADHD Awareness Week, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is drawing attention to the importance of hearing checks as an integral part of the attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis process. It’s also encouraging hearing practices to disseminate information to their communities about the relationship between hearing loss and ADHD.

ADHD Awareness Week runs from October 14 through 20, 2012. Studies show that hearing loss frequently coexists with ADHD and that children struggling with undiagnosed hearing loss often exhibit  behavior characteristics similar those in children with ADHD.

For example, academic performance, completing assignments, carrying out multistep directions, and sustaining attention during oral presentations can be problematic for children with either ADHD or undetected hearing loss. Impulsiveness, acting out, inappropriate responses to questions, low self-esteem, and difficulty with social interactions also challenge children struggling with either condition.

Moreover, studies show that children with even mild hearing loss when left unaddressed, are at risk for learning and other social, emotional, behavioral, and self-image problems.

"The impact that both ADHD and hearing loss can have on a child’s academic performance, social development, and self-esteem is significant," says Sergei Kochkin, PhD, executive director of BHI. "Careful diagnosis is extremely important. It’s particularly beneficial to take an interdisciplinary team approach, which can help accurately determine if a child has ADHD, hearing loss, or both."

BHI is encouraging hearing health professionals to disseminate information on ADHD and to publicize ADHD Awareness Week in their practices and communities.

SOURCE: The Better Hearing Institute (BHI)