Hearing loss can impact your child's development
(NC) Studies have shown that hearing is crucial to speech and language development. This means that poor hearing can limit your child's communication skills and hinder academic achievement. Children with hearing impairment often experience delayed language development, which can negatively affect cognitive, social and emotional development.
Did you know that approximately 10 per cent of all Canadians suffer from hearing loss, and a significant percent of these sufferers are children? Unfortunately, in many cases, hearing loss remains undetected and school-aged children are often misdiagnosed as having learning disabilities or behavioural problems.
According to Statistics Canada, 13 per cent of children (up to age 14) have some form of hearing disability. Common causes of hearing loss include complications resulting from drugs during pregnancy, genetics, trauma to the head or ears, repeated ear infections, and overexposure to noisy environments such as electronics or music, and even toys.
Be aware that the earlier hearing loss occurs, the greater the impact it can have on your child's development. The negative impact can be reduced, however, if it is identified early.
Here are some common indicators of hearing impairments in children:
• Excessive volume levels (TV, stereo, iPods);
• Not replying when called;
• Academic problems;
• Delayed or unclear speech;
• Trouble following directions;
• Frequently asking others to repeat themselves;
• Trouble hearing in noisy environments.
If you suspect that your child may be experiencing hearing loss, take advantage of early testing and intervention to help reduce the risk of developmental issues.
Canadians aged seven and older can test their hearing online at www.medel.com/ca/hearing-test/ by completing the quick, easy exercise. For parents with children under seven, MED-EL offers SoundScape to sharpen a child's hearing through fun, interactive games at www.medel.com/resources-for-success-soundscape/.
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