It is a well recognized fact that there is a close relation between hearing ability and speech development. It has often been seen that children having hearing problems also suffer from speech problems. If this hearing loss develops early, then there would be more serious effects on the child’s speech development. That’s why according to speech language pathologists, early identification of any type of hearing loss is essential in children so that early intervention can help treat the problem.

Hearing loss and speech development in children

There are four major ways in which hearing loss affects children:

1.  Hearing loss may cause a delay in the development of receptive and expressive communication skills both i.e speech as well as language. This means vocabulary development gets delayed in hearing impaired child. The gap in vocabulary in children with hearing loss and normal children starts to widen as the child grows old. Thus the child may not be able to express him or herself easily. Apart from these children suffering from hearing loss may not hear their own voices while they are speaking. Speech Language Pathologists say that for this reason they may speak too loudly or not loud enough. The child may also have a speaking pitch that is too high. They may sound like they are mumbling. This is because of poor stress, poor inflection, or also poor rate of speaking.

1.    The child suffering from hearing loss also has speech language deficit. This in turn causes learning problems that result in reduced academic achievement. Thus over a period of time may cause certain psychological problems and lack of self confidence.

3.   With hearing loss the child may have poor communication skills. This leads to difficulties often lead to social isolation and poor self image.

4.   The hearing loss may also have an overall impact on vocational choices.

What you need to do as a parent?

If you suspect any symptoms of hearing loss in your child, you must immediately consult a reliable audiologist. If hearing loss is detected in your child, then early family-centered intervention is recommended. Family support plays a very important. Without proper support your child may not recover the speech problem. You should contact a speech pathologist or visit a reputed speech therapy clinic to treat the speech problem.

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