The concept of unpartitioned open classrooms is gaining attention in schools where eduacational reform, such as team teaching, is to be introduced in Japan. The proposed architecture raises concern about poor acoustical conditions, however. We measured noise and surveyed teachers in 3 elementary schools to determine open-classroom acoustics. Noise in open classrooms exceeded the Japanese standard of 50dBA and made it difficult for many students learning to read or listening or understanding new material. Teachers also reported poor classroom acoustics in questionnaires. Poor open-classroom acoustics thus adversely affect both teachers and students, pointing out the need for architects and those involved in building schools to seriously consider noise costrol.
We mailed questionnaires on newborn hearing screening to 165 parents to determine parentoriented problems and consideration in such screening for children requiring intervention. Screening institutes must eusure sufficient informed consent on results and support for parents to accept referencing and early intervention. This requires audiological diagnosis, professional advice, counseling, and close cooperation with educational institutes. Parents of such children require emotional supported and advice by public health staff about their children's devolopment. Parents whose children pass tests, follow-up is required through hearing checks at regular physical examinations to check on progressive and acquired hearing impairment.
The aim of this study is to evaluate an Automated DPOAE and to compare the result of Automated DPOAE with pure tone hearing levels. 122 ears of 61 children between 19 and 179 months of age were examined by utilizing the Automated DPOAE (ERO SCAN). 33 ears passed the screening. 97% of the passed ears had audiometric thresholds within 40dB for 2kHz and 100% for 4kHz. On the other hand, one ear which showed moderate sensorineural hearing loss with 40dB hearing level for 4kHz passed the screening. Automated DPOAE is useful for hearing screening, especially for the high frequency range. In addition, we have to pay much composite attention also to language development and articulation, and ongoing audiometry should be carried out if there is any doubt concerning hearing loss.
We fitted hearing aids to five children with multiple brain malformation-related disabilities, and observed the development of the patients' hearing behavior. The subjects were all less than 3 years old at the time of the first use of their hearing aid and had been observed for a period of more than 6 years. All the members had a score of less than 35 DQ with serious mental retardation. Only one patient could walk and speak. The ABR thresholds and the COR minimum response levels decreased in three patients as they grew. In 2 patients, the ABR thresholds and the Behavioral Hearing Testing minimum response level improved, and so they discontinued the use of their hearing aids. Even children with severe motor and mental disabilities could have some beneficial effect from a hearing aid. Once fitted with a hearing aid, eye movement incrased in response to their name being called. When fitting a hearing aid to such patients, we must consider the patient's physical condition, life state, and home environment. We must choose both an appropriate time to fit the hearing aid on an individual basis for each patient, followed by the period for which they should use the hearing aid.