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Testyteach Testyteach is offline
 
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Earplugs anyone?
Old 08-26-2017, 06:39 AM
 
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Well this year I'm teaching an inclusion class where I have an autistic student that when he gets frustrated screeches/squeals at eardrum breaking decibels. After he does this a few times, it really takes it toll on me and I'm thinking about getting musician earplugs. I've read that someone had a friend that she would go visit that had a toddler that would do this same thing. When she left her friend's house she couldn't return until she wore earplugs over there. She mentioned how the musician earplugs allow you to still hear, but block out the real high-pitched noises. I hope this is the case as I'm thinking of purchasing them. Anyone ever try these before...musician earplugs?



Last edited by Testyteach; 08-26-2017 at 06:40 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:34 AM
 
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Oh, please do NOT put earplugs on. This won't go over well for you and will send a very negative message about this boy to the boy himself, his parents, your other students, their parents, your administrator, and your colleagues. What happens when your students decide earplugs are a good idea and want to wear them? There are other methods to deal with the screeching. Does the boy have an aide who can take him on a short break when he grows frustrated? Suggestions from other teachers who have had this student? I would talk with your SPED folks for suggestions and your principal about the distraction and irritation to everyone's ears. I feel for you but please ditch the earplug idea. I don't think it will end well.
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Earplugs
Old 08-26-2017, 10:38 AM
 
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I agree that earplugs are not the best way to deal with the noises the student makes. A teacher should not be wearing earplugs when working with students. Ask your para to take him on a walk around the building so he can calm down.

Last edited by travelingfar; 08-26-2017 at 12:59 PM..
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:23 PM
 
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I agree with the above posts. Unless the earplugs are indistinguishable, you'll be sending a clear message, and word will get around. While your health and attitude are crucial to how you perform, you've got to be creative and strategic in how you cope with undesirable behavior. Think it through and try different approaches.
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not really earplugs in this case
Old 08-26-2017, 01:36 PM
 
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Maybe consider calling them hearing aids? I agree that "earplugs" appears to be insensitive to the child. (shouldn't be, but that's our current reality)

A musician isn't really trying to "plug" his or her ears. They are protecting their hearing, just like you mentioned.


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Protect yourself
Old 08-26-2017, 04:01 PM
 
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I really don't understand what the problem is with protecting your hearing. Certainly if you are using ear protection that prevents you from hearing what students say, that would be a problem. But using a type of protection that preserves your hearing, helps to prevent headaches, and still allows you to hear a normal conversation--that's a winner in my book.

Depending on your hair style and color of the ear plugs, students may not even ask. If a student does ask, you can simply, and truthfully, say that your ears are very sensitive and need protection.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:00 PM
 
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I see nothing wrong with earplugs. Our aids and teachers wear personal protective gear - arm shields, paddled clothing, etc which very clearly is visible and obvious to the class. To me it isn't the gear that is a problem it is how we communicate about it.

Legally you are allowed to protect yourself. I would tell admin what you are doing and why. Personally, I would get severe headaches from the exposure. Get a doctors note if you need to. So if it was me given my propensity to headaches, I would say, due to the pitch of Jim's screaming, I have started to develop headaches that make me unable to continue to work. I do not want to have to go home with severe tension headaches every time he has an incident, so my doctor has prescribed earplugs. Here is the note.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:38 PM
 
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Wow, I've never heard of these!

But I personally think that if it's that bad, the child should be removed from the class. If the screeching is hurting your ears, it's hurting the other students' ears as well. They deserve to be protected.
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Old 08-27-2017, 02:19 PM
 
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I was in a really bad auto accident almost two years ago and still have noise hypersensitivity as a result of the TBI. I wear earplugs at school when I need to. I am honest with students (and parents) about it. I also wear them in restaurants, big box stores, etc. when I need to. I refuse to apologize to anyone about it--not wearing them means instant headache, even though I still am on headache medication, and daily headaches mean I can't function. BTW--I am a special education teacher.
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Lakeside
Old 08-27-2017, 05:28 PM
 
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I was thinking the same thing that Lakeside posted .

One student does not have the right to disrupt the education of the other students or to harm them. Your sped team needs to come up with an appropriate way to deal with this.

I do not know what levels of noise can cause damage to your ears, but I would not be above getting a baseline hearing test for myself to document.

I would seek permission from my admin on the hearing protection first. If they deny allowing you to protect your hearing, I would file a grievance about working conditions.


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