Deaf and Hearing Impairment
Information taken from American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and Hearing Loss Association of America
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE DEAF OR HEARING IMPAIRED?
Being deaf often refers to the inability to use hearing to understand everyday communication. Deaf (with a capital D) refers to members of the non-hearing community. This includes individuals with hearing impairment. There are various degrees of hearing impairment and deafness. For example, a person with a mild hearing impairment may only have difficulty with faint or distant speech. Some people may have hearing aids or cochlear implants and others may use American Sign Language (ASL) or other forms of communication.
HOW IS SPEECH AND LANGUAGE AFFECTED?
- Vocabulary develops at a slower rate
- Difficulty with abstract words (i.e., jealous, like, before, etc.) and function words (i.e., the, an, are, etc.)
- Difficulty understanding words with multiple meanings (i.e., bat)
- Difficulty understanding, using, and writing complex sentences
- Difficulty hearing word endings (i.e., -s and –es)
- Misunderstanding and misuse of verb tense, pluralization, and possessives
- Difficulty understanding soft sounds (i.e., /s/, /sh/, /f/, /t/, and /k/)
- Speech may sound mumbled and be difficult to understand
- Speech may be too loud or not loud enough
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE MY CHILD’S HEARING SCREENED?
Children begin learning language within their first 6 months. Therefore, if a child is not reaching speech and language milestones his / her hearing should be checked. Children with a hearing loss who get help early develop better speech and language skills than those who wait to get help. The sooner you know of a child’s hearing impairment the sooner you can work on strategies to better help speech and language development.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR TO DETERMINE IF MY CHILD NEEDS A HEARING SCREENING?
Please use this list as a guideline to determine if your child may need a screening. An audiologist would be able to provide more information if you have questions or concerns. This list includes the following but is not limited to:
- Reacts to loud sounds
- Calms down or smiles when spoken to
- Coos and makes pleasure sounds
- Follows sounds with his / her eyes
- Pays attention to music
- Enjoys toys that make sound
- Laughs and babbles
This list only includes milestones from birth-6 months as children should begin to learn language within the first 6 months of life. Contact a medical professional for more information.
WHAT CAUSES A HEARING IMPAIRMENT?
A hearing impairment can be caused by many different causes which may include: malformation of the ear, fluid in the ear from colds, ear infections, allergies, earwax, exposure to loud noise, head trauma, disease, genetic problems, aging, and tumors.
OUR APPROACH AT KEY THERAPIES:
At Anchor Therapies we will develop an individualized treatment plan for your child that will improve areas of concern. We will work closely with the audiologist and other medical professionals to determine the best therapy plan for your child. Furthermore, a home program will be taught to caregivers so that follow-through can be completed at home. The program may include strategies, ASL, or other forms of communication.