of Hearing Loss
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.
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.
four major ways in which hearing loss affects children--
- It causes
delay in the development of receptive and expressive communication skills
(speech and language).
- The language
deficit causes learning problems that result in reduced academic achievement.
difficulties often lead to social isolation and poor self-concept.
- It may
have an impact on vocational choices.
develops more slowly in children who have hearing loss.
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.
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.
with hearing loss comprehend and produce shorter and simpler sentences
than children with normal hearing.
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
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.
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
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.
with hearing loss have difficulty with all areas of academic achievement,
especially reading and mathematical concepts.
with mild to moderate hearing losses, on the average, achieve 1-4 grade
levels lower than their peers with normal hearing, unless appropriate
with severe to profound hearing loss usually achieve skills no higher
than the 3 rd or 4 th grade level, unless appropriate educational intervention
- 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.
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.
social problems appear to be more frequent in children with mild or
moderate hearing losses than in those with severe to profound losses.