Surprising Behavioral Characteristics of an Unknown Hearing Loss

little girl upset facing away from her mom who is trying to talk to her
Cheri Moore

Written by Cheri Moore

July 15, 2021

Have you ever thought about the behaviors needed to help an individual cope with an unknown hearing loss? The person, regardless of age, with a mild hearing loss may be unaware of their hearing loss. Why? Because, the person with hearing loss is unable to miss what is not heard.

In children, the way they hear is their norm. Thus, they are unable to ask for help. In adults, hearing loss occurs so gradually they assume it is part of aging. Untreated hearing loss adversely affects emotional health in all ages.

Most of us think of hearing loss as deafness. However, hearing loss is rarely deafness. Unfortunately, an individual’s basic hearing test may show no hearing loss. When this happens, the caregiver or parent thinks everything is ok. There is no hearing loss. They think thoughts like, they are choosing to ignore me. They may also assume personality explains their loved one’s difficult behaviors. However, personality affects the way one reacts and copes with a significant stress like hearing difficulties.

I have good news. Additional hearing tests exist for other types of hearing loss not assessed during a routine hearing loss. Today’s technology provides hearing tests that require no response. Thus, it is possible to find out if there is an unknown hearing loss in a person who lacks speech or has a disability.

If you reply, Yes, to even one of the questions below, complete a Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire. Then, save your Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire Report on your laptop. Next, Schedule a free phone consultation and email me your questionnaire report to receive help advocating for a more comprehensive hearing evaluation. If you are unsure, additional help is available with the Moore Auditory Observation Activity Booklet.

Auditory Behavioral Characteristics to Observe:

  • Has to interrupt the conversation
  • Does most of the talking, controls conversation
  • Turns music and TV up so loud it is uncomfortable for others
  • A monotone, flat voice
  • Fails to listen to directions; does their own thing
  • Watches others to understand directions
  • Needs one-on-one help to understand directions; needs directions repeated
  • Becomes upset when others talk while they are talking
  • Complains about noise
  • Startles when approached from behind
  • Fails to respond when spoken to or their name is called
  • Has sound intolerance/sensitivities
holding a tv remote pointed at the TV with feet up on the coffee table

There are many more behavioral characteristics. Known and unknown hearing loss contributes to difficulties like listening with comprehension and poor memory. For example, hearing loss affects auditory processing skills like following directions and needing more time to answer a question. Unfortunately, experience has taught me that knowing the above difficulties is not enough. Parents and adults benefit from advocacy helping them more fully understand the process ahead, preparation for appointments, and connecting with specialists.

An Auditory Game to Strengthen Your Auditory Processing Skills

Short Tongue Twisters are loads of fun!

Auditory games strengthen the ability to distinctly hear sounds and say sounds. When there is hearing loss, distorted sounds result in misunderstandings. Here is a fun way for all ages to learn more about your loved one’s hearing that I remember from my childhood. Everyone competed to see who could say them the fastest.

How many times and how fast can you say these tongue twisters?

  • Friendly Frank flips fine flapjacks
  • Nine nice night nurses nursing nicely
  • Six thick thistle sticks
  • Shy Shelly says she shall sew sheets
  • Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?
  • Sam’s shop stocks short spotted socks
  • Old oily Ollie Oils old oily autos

Tongue Twister Stories

These tongue twisters are read by third graders and older. It is also a great way to gain the attention of students.

She sells seashells by the seashore
The shells she sells are surely seashsells
So if she sells shells on the seashore
I am sure she sells seashore shells

This one made most of the young girls say, Yuck!

A tree toad loved a she-toad
Who lived up in a tree.
He was a two-toed toad
But a three-toed toad was she.

The two-toad tree toad tried to win
The three -toed she-toad’s heart.
For the two-toed tree toad loved the ground
That the three-toed tree toad trod.

But, the two-towed tree toad tried in vain.
He was unable to please her whim.
From her tree toad bower
With her three-toed power
The she-toad vetoed him.

Brainteaser—How many toes does a frog have that stays on the ground?

Unknown Hearing Loss Impacts Emotional Health

Sadly, sounds are often distorted leaving them to guess or simply follow along. When mistakes are made after a guess, they once again feel defeated when the parent or teacher scolds them. Children with hearing loss often hear a raised voice filled with frustration or anger. Some children with hearing loss find it more difficult to hear the more friendly tone of an everyday, normal volume of speech. Imagine how this affects the whole family and the one with hearing loss. Surprisingly, sound intolerance occurs due to the need to listen in a quiet environment.

Little girl sitting on a dresser crying while the mother is pointing a finger at her for a behavior related to unknown hearing loss.

Unfortunately, social isolation occurs because it is too difficult to enjoy group conversation. It is easier to talk with just one other person. Depending on personality, the person may take over the conversation or leave. However, others avoid conversations and isolate. When they leave, peers who just joined the conversation feel rejected. When there is an unknown hearing loss, my clients of all ages, children and teens, struggled to socialize and learn. Now, they also needed help building self-esteem and social skills.

Thankfully, the Roger Focused Amplification system allows sound from the Roger Pen to amplify a teacher’s voice. At the same time, the hearing aids suppress background competing sounds. Happily, technology advances are helping children with autism, central auditory processing deficits, hearing loss, and attention deficits with hyperactivity.

Unknown Hearing Loss Behaviors Affect More Than

One Medical Profession

Professionals and doctors rarely have time to learn about the intensity and frequency of behavioral concerns associated with unknown hearing loss. Have you ever thought about the roles of different professionals?

For example, schools evaluate learning.

Another example, psychiatrists and psychologists evaluate mental health.

Lastly, family physicians screen the hearing for typical hearing loss.

Audiologists look for typical hearing loss that meets hearing aid dispensing guidelines. If parents find an audiologist familiar with behaviors associated with Central Auditory Processing Deficits, they are the lucky ones. Those parents are given a referral to an audiologist specializing in Central Auditory Processing Deficits.

As I worked with clients, I began to connect the dots across medical professions.

I spent years asking questions, working with clients of all ages, reading research studies, and discussing cases with a retired audiologist. Slowly I began to understand the meaning behind behaviors, emotional distress, and academic difficulties. After trying to teach another professional what I learned, I realized the importance of creating an interactive questionnaire that does much more than a checklist.

I created the Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaires with root questions, a behavioral checklist of responses, and follow-up questions. Now, professionals like myself, doctors, therapists, parents, teachers, and the individual more fully understood the intensity and frequency of behavioral difficulties. Moderate and significant concerns help me advocate for hearing tests not completed during a typical hearing evaluation. Does the behavior help the person cope or are they trying to get what they want, manipulate?

A Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire Example:

When you agree that while listening the person is unable to maintain a conversation when the environment changes from quiet to noisy, follow-up questions pop up. Mark all that apply.

Does the person

  • Make environment quiet
  • Continue conversation
  • Stop talking
  • Leave
  • Yell, becomes upset
  • Stop talking and just listen
  • Take over the conversation, does most of the talking

How often? (choices are provided)

Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire Report

Each person’s Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire Report shares the intensity and frequency of behaviors. The report categorizes behaviors associated with auditory processing deficits, sound intolerance, unknown hearing loss, and visual processing difficulties. Behavioral responses like stops talking, leaves, and gets angry every day indicates significant concerns. Remember, this is just one question.

The Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire Report improves communication with professionals, therapists, teachers, audiologists, doctors, and myself as your advocate. In the past, I would spend two hours on the phone; drive, and spend two hours completing a home visit. Then, I would often spend about two hours writing their report and supporting documents.

Now, the Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire Report allows me to help more families across the nation and provides wonderful insights. Additionally, parents save money, time, and improve their ability to communicate concerns. They simply give my letter and their Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire Report to a recommended audiologist and we make a plan from there.

The report creates consistency. Even though I was working with clients in their homes, parents are able to observe behaviors that are impossible for me to observe. Best of all, I provide a list of activities to help parents observe their loved one before starting the questionnaire. When an answer is unknown, you can choose an unsure answer and continue to the next question. When you reach the end of the questionnaire, all the unsure answers appear. Once you observe the behavior, you change your answer, save, print, and email me your Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire Report.


The Future for Moore Auditory Integration Training

I provide resources like videos, research findings, testimonials, and educational blogs on my website. As I continue to grow professionally, I am looking forward to improving my ability to provide emotional support for the individual who has silently suffered and for their loved ones. I am currently studying for my Master of Social Work licensing exam. Then, I am looking forward to providing workshops and helping others through advocacy and research.

Long ago, I realized the importance of sharing what I found while working with families and individuals with a neurodevelopmental diagnosis (ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, ….) and struggling learners without a diagnosis. During that time, I also began working with adults who suffered a concussion. I began helping adults with sound intolerance strengthen their hearing system helping them successfully wear hearing aids. Now, nine years later, the tools are developed and ready for parents, adults, and professionals to use on MooreAuditoryTraining.com

Get your FREE Activity Booklet

Learn how and what to observe!

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2 Comments

  1. SC Plumbing

    Hello! I’ve been reading your website for a long time now and finally got
    the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas!

    Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!

  2. Cheri Moore

    Thank you. Much work ahead one day at a time. Time for research and passing my social work MSW licensing test. Is there anything you would like me to write about ?

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