Hearing loss in young children is not always easy for parents to spot right away. However, if you know the signs, it can be a lot easier to identify and treat early on. This is important because addressing hearing loss early can help prevent any developmental delays with speech comprehension and learning. Hearing plays an important role in how children learn to talk and understand information. When a child has undetected hearing loss, their learning skills can be delayed because they are missing out on sounds. This can cause problems with their speaking, reading, school success, and social skills. Having your child tested for hearing loss at the first signs is a step that will set them up for future success.
Speech comprehension and hearing are closely connected. When children can’t hear words, they miss out on crucial speech development and learning skills. Depending on the severity of the child’s hearing loss, they may be able to understand concrete words, such as cat, jump, and red. However, they may have difficulty with abstract words, such as before, equal, and to.
Children with hearing loss may also have trouble understanding the meaning of a word, especially homonyms. For example, words such as right can mean “you were right” or “turn right at the light.” Hearing loss can make it difficult for a child to understand these different meanings, making learning challenging. Words that end with an “s” or “ed” can be challenging as well. It can be difficult for them to understand or use plural words, such as “dogs” because the “s” is difficult to hear.
Children with hearing loss tend to use shorter sentences when speaking because they are easier to understand. They often have difficulty using longer sentences or more complex sentences that require a clause.
Sounds such as s, sh, f, t, or k can be difficult for children with hearing loss to use because they are generally quiet sounds and hard to hear. Without the proper resources, it can be easy for a child with hearing loss to fall behind their normal hearing peers both academically and socially.
Hearing loss in children is common. In fact, every 2 to 3 out of 1,000 children has hearing loss. Because hearing is such a crucial part of learning development and cognitive functioning, it’s important to recognize the signs early. If you notice your child is having trouble hearing, or they are not responding to sounds by a certain age, then you should take them to an audiologist right away. The sooner hearing loss is addressed in young children, the more successful treatment will be.
Children who have hearing loss can have a difficult time in school if their hearing loss is undetected and unaddressed. Proper resources for managing their hearing loss can prevent them from hearing the teacher or their peers. Because of the hearing loss, children may mishear information, respond inappropriately, or not hear instructions. Children with untreated hearing loss tend to fall behind a grade compared to children with normal hearing. That’s why it’s important to seek help for your child as soon as possible.
Addressing hearing loss in your child will help them excel academically and socially. Children who receive help with their hearing loss at a young age are more successful and can perform academically on par with other children. Your child’s hearing care provider will recommend the best course of action, whether that is hearing aids, a cochlear implant, or another option.
If you are concerned that your child has hearing loss or is falling behind because of their hearing ability, contact your local EarQ provider today.