Groupe Forget - Polyclinique de l'Oreille
The effects of hearing loss on language development

What are the effects of hearing loss on language development?

Experiencing hearing loss at a young age can have major consequences on a child’s language development. Whether the hearing loss is mild or severe, it could lead to problems with pronouncing certain sounds or words, or even to the inability to speak at all.

If a child has hearing loss, they don’t have access to all the sounds of speech and thus have trouble reproducing them. In normal language development, children will try to interact with those around them using physical gestures, but their early babbling should quickly turn into clear words.

To prevent hearing loss from impacting a child’s language development, it is recommended for them to undergo a neonatal screening before the age of three months. This can be done by a nurse at the hospital where the child was born or by an audiologist at a private clinic.

Despite passing the neonatal hearing screening, temporary or permanent hearing loss may arise at another point during childhood.

As soon as you have concerns about your child’s hearing, it is imperative to consult an audiologist to have their hearing checked in order to minimize the possible negative impact on their future development.

If you have any questions about your hearing or that of a loved one, our hearing health professionals will be happy to answer them.

BY Jenny Turcotte, Audiologist, Polyclinique de l’Oreille

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