The impact of hearing loss in children
Hearing loss already effects too many people around the world, the World Health Organization estimates that In 2025, 900 million people throughout the world will be hearing impaired. An alarming statistic considering the major advances in technology and our ability to treat hearing loss and by default hearing loss in children is also on the rise. But what is the true impact of this sensory deprivation in a human still developing?
Hearing is a vital asset to language development skills in children. Kids build on communication as their foundation to developing social skills. Hearing involves much more than just sensory experiences, to a child they rely on it to connect with family members, peers and their environment on more than just a physical level. Hearing loss may hamper this development and lead to further psychological difficulties. Recognising the symptoms of hearing loss in your child is the only sure defense against hearing loss.
Signs of hearing loss in children to look out for are:
Delays in the development of a Child's ability to speak and pick up on external communication.
Difficulty in paying attention and behavioral changes.
Difficulty in maintaining academic performance.
Intently watching the faces of speakers and trying to make out words.
Difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noises.
The inability to determine where specific sounds and noises are coming from.
Delayed or a lack of response to moderate noises or sounds when there is minimal sound interference.
As we have discussed in previous articles, hearing loss is not solely determined by age, it is also not an isolated disadvantage, it impacts our ability to function in social settings. Which is why we cannot stress enough on the importance of conducting hearing screenings on a regular basis.
For this reason alone, we should be directing great efforts towards the preservation of hearing and education in the impact of hearing loss.
Hellen Keller said it perfectly, “Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.”
The first step in appreciating our gift of hearing is to remind ourselves that this is one of our key senses, equally as important as sight, touch, smell and taste. Unfortunately our hearing is something which all to often gets taken for granted, in the case of children, its absence may be far more devastating.