The Importance of Early Identification and Intervention for Children with Hearing Loss
According to research, 1 out of every 1,000 infants is born deaf, while 6 out of every 1,000 are born with some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss, either partial or complete, is the number one birth defect in many countries, including the US. The ability to hear affects not only our speech development but also our communication, cognitive, educational, and social abilities. Detecting a hearing problem early can ensure that infants and children receive the extra care they need to continue developing properly.
In March 1993, the National Institute of Health developed a consensus statement, which recommended that all newborns be screened for hearing loss before being discharged from the hospital. Moreover, they believe that almost 20-30% of hearing loss in children occurs during infancy or early childhood only. That’s why they recommend the process of hearing screening at intervals throughout early childhood.
If your child hasn’t started speaking or reacting to things by age one and or you are worried about their hearing speech, and language skills, there may be a concern. Early identification is key. Parents should also conduct an early screening of their children when they are infants to avoid any future complications. However, they must receive treatment before their pre-schooling begins so that they won’t miss out on essential pre-reading skills.
What is Early detection and early intervention & how it helps?
Almost 2 % of children born every year have some kind of disabling condition. Many of these children will have hearing or speech delays or disorders that may affect their personal, social, academic, or vocational lives.
Many people falsely believe that hearing or speech-language treatment cannot and should not begin until a child begins to talk. However, many studies have shown that children know a great deal about their language even before the first word is said.
At our Asha Speech and Hearing Clinic, we have offered early detection and early intervention for more than 40 years with the excellent dedication and professionalism of our experts.
Our expert at the Asha Speech and Hearing Clinic believes that it is important to listen to patients’ needs and understand them by giving them personalized attention.
Early detection and early intervention also help a lot in coordinating many systems of programs, services, and resources that are designed to meet the physical, intellectual, language, speech, social, and emotional needs of children from birth to three years who have been identified as having a developmental delay or who are at risk for developing a delay. It also includes the evaluation and treatment provided to families along with their children so that the chances of improving communication skills are increased.
Fortunately, early identification of hearing and speech allows children with hearing loss to receive the help or treatment they need during the first two years of life, a critical period for the development of speech and language skills. The earliest a child’s hearing loss is detected, the sooner the family can gather as much information as possible to make the best decision for their child’s language and communication approach, which will help them to give their child a bright and independent future.
With early detection and early intervention at Asha Speech and Hearing Clinic under the proper guidance of our experts, children with hearing loss can develop language skills to help them communicate freely and actively learn. We also provide various hearing tests and cochlear implants for the betterment of children.
However, if the child’s hearing loss is left undetected or untreated, hearing loss can negatively impact a child’s language development. Delayed intervention can also adversely impact a child’s language development.
According to many types of research and studies, it is found that children who received earlier detection and intervention or cochlear implantation had better speech and language outcomes.
How early intervention services at Asha Speech and Hearing Clinic benefit your child and family?
At Asha Speech and Hearing Clinic our experts always educate families about early intervention beforehand. Maybe not everyone knows that families also play an important role in maximizing a child’s overall development. Moreover, early intervention services from well-qualified, experienced professionals can help you understand your child’s hearing loss.
With our Asha speech and hearing professionals, people learn about their child’s strengths and needs and ways to help their child’s development. Families are their child’s teachers and experts, and that is why families play an important role in their child’s development. The choices people make will be theirs and they will be made with confidence because they will be informed decisions.
When is the right time to get your child first hearing screening?
This question is raised in many minds, and the answer for all children is right after birth at the hospital. The first time your child should have his or her hearing tested or screened should be at the hospital after birth or at least within the first month of your child’s life. Also, if your child shows even a minor sign of hearing loss, it should always be followed up with another screening at three months. However, if hearing loss is confirmed at the time of the next screening, then you should consider the use of a hearing aid by the time your child is six months old to ensure they develop their speech and language skills properly. Although the earliest possible detection is best, you can have your child screened at any age.
How can you checkout for the signs of hearing loss in children?
People say that hearing loss only occurs in adulthood, but no, it’s a total myth. Hearing loss can occur at any point in time during childhood or adulthood for any reason. It could be due to loud exposure to sound, genetic, accidental, or anything. For the better development of your child in the early stages, you should continue to watch for signs of a hearing problem throughout their childhood, even if your infant passes a hearing test early on. Not reacting to loud noises, not turning to respond to your voice, not being able to follow verbal directions, impaired speech, and language development, and speaking too loudly are some of the signs you should always keep an eye on.
Even if your child does not have hearing loss today, the Asha Speech and Hearing Clinic strongly encourages regular checkups and annual hearing tests performed by audiologists, ENTs, or other health providers to monitor potential changes in hearing. These professionals are also excellent resources for intervention services to help overcome communication barriers.