The Dragonfly Story

Emotional Development

While little is known about the full impact of OM, the inability of a child to hear properly is thought to have a significant impact on the child’s emotional development and their behaviour.

Children with a history of conductive hearing loss / otitis media may display moods that can vary from being withdrawn to being loud and aggressive. Some typical behaviours displayed by children who are unable to hear clearly include:

  • avoiding activities that require effective language and listening skills;
  • displaying introverted or disruptive behaviour;
  • demonstrating feelings of inadequacy or alienation;
  • poor attendance at school; and
  • poor self esteem.

A child with conductive hearing loss may also attempt to communicate at inappropriate times, such as when the other children in the class room are working independently. For a child experiencing the effects of conductive hearing loss this may be too good an opportunity of being heard to miss.

The older these children are before receiving support, the more difficult these behaviours are to change.

When a child exhibits inconsistent or disruptive behaviour, consider using the screening tools found on this website to determine a possible hearing problem. Assistance is also available from support services in your local district.

While the effects of recurrent conductive hearing loss on a child’s emotional development is still yet to be fully understood, parents, teachers, students and other care givers must be aware of its potential impact. Children with consistent conductive hearing loss must be supported and encouraged.