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Speech, Language, and Hearing Problems

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Your Child's Hearing (Ears)
Your Baby's Hearing Checklist
Ear Infections
Speech and Language Development
Speech, Language and Hearing Problems
Auditory Processing Disorder in Children



speach languageThe American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) informs us that otitis media (inner ear infections) may cause hearing loss and resulting speech/language problems.

"Children learn speech and language from listening to other people talk. The first few years of life are especially critical for this development. If a hearing loss exists, a child does not get full benefit of language learning experiences. Consequently, critical delays in speech and language development may occur."

Otitis media without infection presents a special problem because symptoms of pain and fever are usually not present. Therefore, weeks and even months can go by before parents suspect a problem. During this time, the child may miss out on learning the speech and language needed for normal development.

As a parent, you are the best person to look for signs that suggest poor hearing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes this when it states, "Any child whose parent expresses concern about whether the child hears, should be considered for referral for behavioral audiometry without delay."

There are a number of ways or indicators to help parents better evaluate whether or not your child may have a hearing problem.

Speak to your child in normal tones from behind her. Your child should respond by turning around to see you. Repeat this at different times from the left and right sides to elicit a similar response.

Call your child from another room in the house. Have him/her follow your voice to find you. This can be a fun game, "Come find Mommy!"

Take note of the television volume. Should a child require the volume louder than you deem normal, perhaps his hearing should be checked. Music may not a good indicator as many older children (and some younger ones) enjoy loud music.

A child who requires you to repeat yourself often may simply be distracted or may need a hearing check up.

A two-year-old, who is not yet talking or is not attempting to speak, may need to be evaluated for speech-language-hearing difficulties.

Parents should not be afraid to let their instincts guide them in requesting or independently arranging for further evaluation whenever they are concerned about their children's health or development.

Contact your pediatrician or any of the following sources:

   -   Speech-Language Pathologists
   -   Audiologists
   -   School speech-language-hearing programs
   -   Hospital speech-language-hearing clinics
   -   University speech-language-hearing clinics
   -   Your Community Health Agency


Related Articles
Your Child's Hearing (Ears)
Your Baby's Hearing Checklist
Ear Infections
Speech and Language Development
Speech, Language and Hearing Problems
Auditory Processing Disorder in Children


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Speech, Language and Hearing Problems


 


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