The Road to Success for Hearing Impaired Children
July 09, 2019
Submitted by Bob West, M.S., HAS, Director of Business Development, Audibel Hearing Healthcare
As summer winds down and the back-to-school sales are in full swing, those of us with children are gearing up for the new school year and the responsibilities that go with it. The excitement in the children’s eyes when they get their new backpacks and school supplies is priceless. The excitement of the anticipation of the first day of school evokes memories of our own childhood and those carefree days of learning the basics while passing notes to our friends. But for children with hearing loss, starting a new school year can be a frightening experience.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the earlier a hearing loss occurs in a child’s life, the more serious the potential effects on the child’s development. However, the earlier the problem is identified and intervention begins, the less serious the ultimate impact will be. There are four major ways in which hearing loss affects a child:
It causes delays in the development of receptive and expressive communication skills (the child’s speech and language skills develop more slowly).
The language deficit adversely affects the child’s vocabulary, sentence structure, and speaking ability, causing the learning problems that result in reduced academic achievement.
These learning and academic problems often lead to social isolation and poor self-esteem.
The inability of the child to effectively communicate and socialize with others and the low self -esteem that often occurs have a detrimental impact on the child’s future vocational choices.
As a child enters school, his self-concept is influenced not only by his parents but also by a growing circle of other people, including teachers and friends. The child gets feedback from many people on his physical appearance and his school, athletic, and social abilities. Without proper support, children can quickly fall behind.
Kindergarten teachers report that 20 percent of children entering school do not have the socialization skills needed for school success. Because children with hearing loss can miss subtle social cues and incidental language, they are at high risk for having social skill deficits. However, research indicates that children identified with hearing loss who begin services early may be able to develop language (spoken and/or signed) on par with their hearing peers. This is why it is imperative that a child receive the support he needs, as early as possible.
When a child enters school, he will likely feel unsure of himself as he adjusts to a new environment. He will be evaluated by many people, including peers, teachers, and other adults. He will probably feel a lot of pressure to fit in and succeed. To handle the pressure, he needs unconditional support from his parents and school staff. With encouragement, he can conquer tough times in this stage of growth and transition. However, an adult cannot just tell a child that he is great. A child needs not only to hear words but also to feel within himself that he is a worthwhile, competent person.
If a hearing loss is detected in your child, early family-centered intervention is recommended to promote language and cognitive development. Having him tested by an audiologist or licensed hearing instrument specialist is the best way to begin the road to success for your child with hearing impairment.
Audibel Hearing Healthcare has been serving the Pine Belt with the highest level of care for over 50 years. With 11 offices throughout south Mississippi and Alabama, Audibel delivers the best technology research, quality instruments, and customer service in the hearing industry while offering the highest quality, American made hearing aids available. They also offer custom swim plugs, ear plugs, musicians in-ear monitors, hunter’s ears, and many other hearing protection products and services. Call 601-329-2946 or Toll Free at 1-888-354-2143 or visit them at www.audibelms.com for your free hearing exam and start experiencing Better Hearing, Better Life today!
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