As a parent, it can be hard to process all the well-intended advice and information you receive from friends, family and even strangers. If you’re concerned that your child might suffering from mild to severe hearing loss, it is important to separate the facts from the myths.
Below, we debunk five common misconceptions about early childhood hearing loss and the effect it has on speech and language.
Misconception #1: My child only has a mild hearing loss and so probably doesn’t need a hearing aid.
FACT: A child with a mild loss in both ears will need some amplification in each ear to hear clearly at school, in groups, or at a distance. Some children with a mild loss are not identified as having hearing loss until they reach pre-primary or Year 1. They will need hearing aids to hear the softest sounds and to acquire fluent speech.
Misconception #2: Hearing aids are the solution to my child’s hearing loss.
FACT: While hearing aids will help your child hear, early intervention is vital for the development of your child’s listening, speech and language development.
Misconception #3: He’s a boy and boys are often late talkers.
FACT: While it is true that, on average, boys do produce their first words and sentences later than girls, these differences are only a matter of a few months. There is a normal range in which children acquire certain language milestones, and help should be sought if these milestones are not met.
Misconception #4: My child has chronic middle ear infections but it shouldn’t affect their speech and language development.
FACT: An untreated middle ear infection can lead to a non-permanent hearing loss. This will affect your child’s speech and language development.
Misconception #5: My child has trouble talking, but will quickly pick it up in the classroom setting.
FACT: Developmental Language Disorder impacts a child’s ability to use language and understand language in school. It can impact reading, writing, learning, joining in with others, and self-esteem. Most children who are born with a hearing loss can be diagnosed through a hearing screening. But in some cases, the hearing loss is caused by things like infections, trauma and damaging noise levels, and the problem doesn’t appear until later in childhood. It is important to have your children’s hearing checked regularly, as hearing loss has been shown to increase by school age.
If you have concerns with your child’s hearing, speech or language contact Telethon Speech & Hearing today.