Help Kids Hear – A web site dedicated to helping parents of children that are deaf or hard of hearing.  The latest news, resources, articles, and discussions about hearing impaired children!
About Help Kids Hear Site Map Search Help Kids Hear Web Site News
A site for parents of hard of hearing & deaf children.
In the News - News articles about hearing impairment, new technologies, and other related materials.
Articles & Commentary - Our editorial section. Articles written by us and by professionals in the field.
Resources & Information - Our largest section. Dedicated to helping you find the information you need. Everything from educational information, sources financial support, mental health support and more!
Facts & Figures - A brief "stat sheet" with information about just how common hearing impairment is, particularly in children.
Discussion Forum - What we hope will be hallmark of our site. An open forum where you can read and post questions about hearing impairment across a wide variety of categories.
For the Kids - Links to and information just for the kids themselves.
Effects of Hearing Loss

It is well recognized that hearing is critical to speech and language development, communication, and learning. Children with listening difficulties due to hearing loss or auditory processing problems continue to be an underidentified and underserved population.

The earlier hearing loss occurs in the child's life, the more serious the effects on the child's development. Similarly, the earlier the problem is identified and intervention begun, the less serious the ultimate impact.

There are four major ways in which hearing loss affects children--

  1. It causes delay in the development of receptive and expressive communication skills (speech and language).
  2. The language deficit causes learning problems that result in reduced academic achievement.
  3. Communication difficulties often lead to social isolation and poor self-concept.
  4. It may have an impact on vocational choices.

Communication Effects

Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary develops more slowly in children who have hearing loss.
  • Children with hearing loss learn concrete words like "cat," "jump," "five," and "red" more easily than abstract words like "before," "after," "equal to," and "jealous." They also have difficulty with function words like "the," "an," "are," and "a."
  • The gap between the vocabulary of children with normal hearing and those with hearing loss widens with age. Children with hearing loss do not catch up without intervention.
  • Children with hearing loss have difficulty understanding words with multiple meanings. For example, the word "bank" can mean the edge of a stream or a place where we put money.

Sentence Structure

  • Children with hearing loss comprehend and produce shorter and simpler sentences than children with normal hearing.
  • Children with hearing loss often have difficulty understanding and writing complex sentences such as those with relative clauses ( The teacher whom I have for math was sick today ) or passive voice ( The ball was thrown by Mary ).
  • Children with hearing loss often cannot hear word endings such as "-s" or "-ed." This leads to misunderstandings and misuse of verb tense, pluralization, non-agreement of subject and verb, and possessives.


Speaking

  • Children with hearing loss often cannot hear quiet speech sounds such as "s," "sh," "f," "t," and "k" and therefore do not include them in their speech. Thus, speech may be difficult to understand.
  • Children with hearing loss may not hear their own voices when they speak. They may speak too loudly or not loud enough. They may have a speaking pitch that is too high. They may sound like they are mumbling because of poor stress, poor inflection, or poor rate of speaking.


Academic Achievement

  • Children with hearing loss have difficulty with all areas of academic achievement, especially reading and mathematical concepts.
  • Children with mild to moderate hearing losses, on the average, achieve 1-4 grade levels lower than their peers with normal hearing, unless appropriate management occurs.
  • Children with severe to profound hearing loss usually achieve skills no higher than the 3 rd or 4 th grade level, unless appropriate educational intervention occurs early.
  • The gap in academic achievement between children with normal hearing and those with hearing loss usually widens as they progress through school.
  • The level of achievement is related to parental involvement and the quantity, quality, and timing of the support services children receive.

Social Functioning

  • Children with severe to profound hearing losses often report feeling isolated, without friends, and unhappy in school, particularly when their socialization with other children with hearing loss is limited.
  • These social problems appear to be more frequent in children with mild or moderate hearing losses than in those with severe to profound losses.

 

 
 

Help Kids Hear is a site dedicated to helping parents of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) children. We are parents of hard of hearing kids and simply want to "give back" to the community. We welcome your comments, questions & suggestions. Please drop us a note at info@helpkidshear.org.