Hearing everyday sounds and words help children learn to talk and understand. A child with hearing loss misses out on these sounds, which can cause problems with speaking, reading, school success, and social skills, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Hearing loss makes it more difficult to interact with others. Children may not want to play with other kids, and be unhappy in school.
ASHA adds that hearing loss in children can lead to delayed speech and language skills, learning problems in and out of school, low self-esteem, and difficulty in making friends.
“Children with hearing loss don’t learn words as fast as those who have normal hearing. They may learn concrete words like ‘cat, jump, five, and red,’ however they may struggle with abstract words like ‘before, equal to, and shy.’ They may not use words like ‘the, an, are, and a.’ They may have trouble knowing the different meanings of a word, and fall farther behind children with normal hearing,” ASHA says. “Children with hearing loss do not catch up without help.”
The solution? Have your child tested if you suspect he or she has trouble hearing. Audiologist Dr. Susan Rogan, who practices in Westmont and LaGrange Park urges, “The sooner hearing loss is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.”
Early intervention can help children with hearing loss learn to speak or use sign language as successfully as children who hear. ASHA explains, “An audiologist can test your child’s hearing, and talk to you about the best way to treat your child’s hearing loss. This may include medical treatment, hearing aids, or speech and language therapy.”