In the study by the University of Texas at Dallas, approximately 50 percent of the adolescents with hearing loss said they were picked on in at least one way in the past year. Previous studies show about 28 percent of adolescents in the general population report being bullied.
More than one-fourth of adolescents with hearing loss indicated they felt left out of social activities, compared to only 5 percent of the general population reporting exclusion. These findings parallel published reports of fewer invitations to social events, lower quantity and quality of friendships, and higher loneliness in children and adolescents with hearing loss.
Researchers conducted an online survey of 87 children and adolescents ages 7 to 18 who wear cochlear implants or hearing aids for hearing loss. If they indicated they were picked on at all, the survey automatically generated follow-up questions on how often it occurred and why they thought they were targeted.
Approximately 45 percent said they did not know why, 20 percent said it was because of their hearing loss or cochlear implant, and 20 percent said it was because of how they looked or how they acted.
The study, which appears in the journal Exceptional Children, showed the type of bullying experienced by youth and adolescents with hearing loss mimics patterns in children with other special needs, with significantly higher rates of social exclusion.
More surveys are needed like these. It is a key issue in our society that can be quite easily 'brushed under the carpet.' Toomey Cochlear Pro has reported on previously...
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Toomey Cochlear Pro is for people interested in the world of cochlear implants and hearing loss. It is published by full-time writer and freelancer, Aidan Toomey.
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