For a child hearing and speech are important tools for learning. Children learn to communicate by hearing the sounds they hear. If for some reason their hearing gets impaired it also has an adverse effect on their ability to speak too. This ultimately leads to delay in speech development. The academic progress suffers as a result of the problem. In the long run it may cause social and psychological problems. In this blog we will try to help you understand the how hearing loss in children leads to speech disorder. We will also guide you to treat the problem if it is detected in your child.
Hearing Loss in children
Hearing loss in children may often go undetected. The loss of hearing in children varies both in the type and the degree. Most hearing loss in children can now be treated effectively. However for that to happen, early detection of the problem is critical. Most effective treatment can be done with early intervention. So in case there is a problem with your child’s hearing you must try to identify it early.
The hearing loss in children may congenital (present at birth) or it may be acquired. However whatever be the cause you must be able to identify the symptoms early. At different stages while the child is growing up as a baby there are different indications whether they respond to sound or not. For example for a baby up to 4 months he or she may awaken or stir at loud sounds, respond to similar voice etc. Between 4 to 9 months the child should turn towards the source of familiar sounds, smile when spoken etc. Between 9 to 15 months the baby must be able to babble at different sounds, respond to his her name, repeat the sounds you make etc. When the child grows to an age of 15 -24 months he or she be able to follow simple commands, listen to stories and rhymes, etc.
In case your child is in preschool and does not reply when you call him/her, he/she may has articulation problems. He or she may often to turn up the volume of the television set is another indication of the problem. He or she may complain of ear pain and so on.
If any of the above mentioned symptoms are visible in your child then you immediately need to visit a reliable audiologist for treatment.
Treating Speech disorder
With the problem of hearing loss there is always a distinct possibility of disorder in speech development of your child. Some common speech disorders in children include stuttering, misarticulation, voice disorders, etc.
A Speech Therapist or Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is the person who treats speech disorder in children. The treatment of the problem is through Speech Therapy. The recovery depends on the severity of the problem and how early or late it was detected. Treatment through Speech Therapy requires patience. So as a parent you would have to accompany your child for the Speech therapy sessions. The role of the parent in treatment is critical. Based on what is being done in the therapy session, the parent may try to repeat the same at home for best results.
To conclude, you must always be alert to notice for any symptoms of hearing loss or speech disorder in your child. If noticed you must immediately visit an audiologist for confirming the same through tests. Thereafter you must also get in touch with a reliable Speech Therapist or SLP for treatment of the disorder. Speech Plus is the leading speech therapy clinic in Kolkata offering one of the best speech treatment solutions. For further information visit http://speechplus.in/