Hearing Loss & Speech Development In Children

During a child’s first 3 years, they start experiencing the world for the first time through their five senses—touch, taste, smell, hearing and seeing. When children reach their infancy, this is where they start with learning how to cry. As their voice develops, they say their first few words and later on learn how to speak basic sentences and engage in actual conversation.

Communication skills play an important role in life. While language delays aren’t necessarily alarming, early adaption does have benefits, specifically in building relationships and improving in other areas.

Language delays are more common among children than most would think. It’s when the child still mumbles incoherently at an age when kids usually are able to speak clear words, phrases and even form sentences.

If you noticed this is the case with your child, have your local speech therapist help. One possible cause to language delay is hearing loss. Here’s how it affects speech development.

Hearing Loss Affecting Speech Development

As others begin to learn “mama,” “papa,” “apple,” “toy,” and “milk,” others may still haven’t uttered a single one. Some infants are born with poor hearing or even deafness that results to a delay in speech-language development. It’s an added challenge for them in learning how to communicate and understand what others are trying to say. To help children with hearing loss, here’s what parents can do:

  1. Reading Books
    While they may have difficulty hearing, children’s books are highly visual and aid in word association and memory retention while keeping you engaged in the activity. It’s helpful if you begin reading children’s storybooks to your kids at an early age. They can learn new words through them, and it helps if you ask them to repeatedly point to the word then to the corresponding image to relay the meaning. Don’t get too excited and skip the basic ABC’s. Ask your local speech therapist about other fun reading activities.
  2. Learning Through Lip Reading
    Lip reading is an effective way to introduce words to children who have hearing difficulties. Have an exercise with your child by demonstrating how each word is pronounced by showing them the mouth formation. This will help them understand how words are enunciated.
  3. Hearing Aids
    Children can use hearing aids and as soon as your hearing specialist gives you a go signal, get them a pair immediately. Using these devices can help children prevent further damage to their hearing as they grow up. Hearing aids will help children hear better with the amplification of sounds and learn language easier.

Before deciding on anything, have your child’s hearing thoroughly evaluated by a hearing specialist. Get a comprehensive checkup on their hearing health to pinpoint the exact cause of the disability.

Discuss your concerns with the professional such as whether they’re old enough, how long it would last before needing to replace it, whether it would hurt the child to wear one, and others. To be certain your child is in good hands, schedule an appointment with one of Beltone DFW’s reliable experts at (888) 958-8432.