Does My Child Have Normal Hearing
If you suspect your child is having hearing or language difficulties, you must ask your doctor for a thorough investigation of your child’s hearing. Contrary to what most people think, the technology exists today to check the hearing levels of even a newborn baby and to ascertain whether there is a problem or not.
Soon after babies are born, they start to go through a babbling phase. During this period, babies begin to make different kinds of noises – gurgling and babbling. This phase of the baby’s development is important as it creates a feedback loop between the baby’s speech and hearing through which the baby begins to develop spoken language. If babies have a severe or profound hearing loss, then they cannot hear others or themselves, and soon stop babbling and become silent. If the baby has some hearing loss, then it might still go through a babbling phase, but his listening and speech skills will be affected. Difficulties in hearing and delays in language could indicate that there is a problem.
The important thing for parents to know is that the faster that hearing impairment is diagnosed, the faster and easier it is for your child to be taught to understand and speak like a hearing child.
The first step to treatment is diagnosis. If you suspect your child is having a problem, call your doctor immediately.
My Child Has Hearing Lose.
Confirming the diagnosis of hearing loss.
Once a child’s hearing loss is diagnosed, it is important to determine the cause of the impairment. Some types of hearing impairment can be medically treated – fluid within the ear is a common example. Other forms of hearing impairment cannot be cured but can be helped with hearing technology – usually hearing aids or a cochlear implant – depending on the severity of the hearing loss.
Obtaining a hearing device
After the child’s type and level of hearing loss has been confirmed, immediate fitting of the hearing device is crucial. The faster the child is fitted with appropriate hearing aids or cochlear implants, the faster the child’s brain is exposed to sound stimuli, and can then begin the process of learning to listen.
It is vitally important that a qualified doctor or audiologist regularly oversees and monitors the optimal functioning of the hearing device.
Learning to Listen and Speak
Parents participate during the once a week training sessions in order to learn the techniques and reinforce the goals at home for the rest of the week.
Children who are hearing-impaired experience a delay in their language acquisition because of their hearing loss. However, if the child’s impairment is diagnosed early, and the correct hearing devices are prescribed and fitted, then the process of learning can begin. It is the trainers’ goal to strengthen the child’s listening and language skills and gradually close the language gap between children with hearing loss and peers of the same age without hearing loss. Focusing on developing age appropriate listening and language skills will help the child with hearing loss to integrate into school and the community at large.