About Hearing Loss
For a child, hearing and speech are essential tools of learning, playing and developing social skills. Children learn to communicate by imitating the sounds they hear. If they have a hearing loss that is undetected or untreated, they can miss much of the speech and language around them. This results in delayed speech and language development, social problems and/or academic difficulties.
Hearing loss, in varying degrees, affects three in every 1000 children under the age of 18. When describing hearing loss we generally look at three attributes: type of hearing loss, degree of hearing loss, and the configuration of the hearing loss. Fortunately, modern technology can help with almost every type of hearing loss. The most effective treatment is achieved through early intervention. Early diagnosis, early fitting of hearing aids, and an early start on early intervention programs can help maximize a child's hearing. This will give your child the best chances for successful speech and language development.
Your child with a hearing loss can succeed - in school, in work and in life! It is important to keep this as your focus, whatever your child's age or degree of hearing loss. While you will have the support of many professionals, ultimately you as parents will make many decisions about what is in the best interest of your child. As with all children, there is no magic formula for raising a child with a hearing loss. It helps to maintain a positive attitude, educate yourself about hearing loss, seek out the best resources and take an active role in your child's education. Most of all, keep in mind that your child is a child first and a child with a hearing loss second.