Hearing loss is typically associated with old age; however, individuals of all ages are affected by this disorder. As many as 3 out of every 1,000 children are born with some degree of hearing loss. This can have a direct impact on the development of that child, as hearing plays a critical role in communication skills and learning capacity. Hearing is especially important in speech and language development. In order to prevent hearing loss from having a lasting negative impact on a child’s development, early intervention is key.
At an early age, we are dependent on our hearing to acquire knowledge of vocabulary and speech. Children with a hearing loss typically have a more challenging time understanding more complex words—for example, words that are abstract in nature or have multiple definitions. When left unaddressed, a hearing impaired child will fall behind in language retention.
A loss of hearing can result in a speech delay in children. When hearing loss is a factor, the child receives less speech information. Certain frequencies or speech sounds may be difficult for the child to hear and understand. It can be more challenging to understand more complicated concepts, including sentence structure. Additionally, children with hearing loss may not be able to hear themselves when speaking, and are therefore unable to correct and fine-tune their speech abilities.
Over time, an undiagnosed hearing loss may create barriers to the child’s academic success. The earlier a diagnosis occurs, the greater opportunity the child has for rehabilitation. A speech pathologist can work with the hearing impaired to address their hearing loss and overcome any communication delays. If you suspect your child may have a hearing loss, don’t wait to pursue treatment. At Heuser Hearing Institute, we have been providing preschool programs and kindergarten programs in Louisville for decades. To learn about our home-based services, contact our staff at (502) 584-3573!