My research topic for this project was child hearing loss/deafness.I was interested in this topic because my nephew went deaf at the age of two. Child deafness/hearing loss connects to Temple Grandin’s, From the Margins to the Mainstream, because she says not to use your disabilities as an excuse to not try. Infants and toddlers that experience hearing loss, most of the time won’t stay deaf/hard of hearing for long.
The most common reason for child hearing loss is genes and otitis media. Researchers have found that, “ an untreated middle ear infection, otitis media, can cause hearing loss in children”(source#1). This process could potentially be painful for the child. You can tell if your child is suffering from hearing loss if they start to say ‘huh’ a lot or don’t respond to loud noises. Additionally, ”Otitis media affects 50% of children with hearing loss”(source#3). That means that half of all deaf children had a painful infection that never got treated. The other half was affected because of their genes. Regardless because they have a hearing deficit means it even more important for them to be exposed to language and speech.
Language is crucial for a child with hearing loss so that they have the ability to perform socially. Everyone should be exposed to some form of language so that they have the ability to interact with others. Scientist, Researchers, and audiologists have said that from, “ birth to four years old is the most important time for a child to learn language and speech”(source#1). This means if a child becomes hard of hearing/deaf during this time it will be increasingly difficult for them to learn and interact properly. In some cases,”children start to feel isolated if they can’t interact with/ understand their classmates” (source#2). If children can’t understand their classmates and interact with them they are shut off from the rest of them. This could possibly lead to the child falling into depression. To fix this there are cochlear implants and hearing aids.
Cochlear implants can be external or internal(source#2). Anyone is eligible for an implant. Doctors have made it clear that, “the youngest you have to be to get an implant is three months old”(source#2). Honestly the younger the better. The younger children with hearing deficits start to pick up any type of language the better chance they will have with communication in the outside world. If you don’t feel comfortable with an implant you can get a hearing aid. According to audiologists, “ Most kids fit behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids”(source #4). Behind the ear hearing aids are the typical everyday hearing aid. You mainly see these on people who are hard of hearing. Hearing for children is very important, vital even.
Infants and toddlers that experience hearing loss may not stay deaf for long. Most parents, my sister is one of those parents, get their children cochlear implants to help or “fix the problem”. There are many ways to help children who with this. As long as these children get exposure to language and speech (any type) they will succeed socially and they can avoid feeling isolation.
Ed. Hearing Loss in Children. Palo Alto Medical Group, 2015, http://www.pamf.org/hearinghealth/facts/children.html. Accessed 2 March 2017.
Help for Parents of Children with Hearing Loss. WebMD Medical Refercence, 1 June 2016, http://www.webmd.com/parenting/help-for-parents-hearing-impaired-children?scrlybrkr#3. Accessed 6 March 2017.
Mroz, Mandy. Hearing Aids for Children. HearingHealthy.com, 2017, http://www.healthyhearing.com/help/hearing-aids/children. Accessed 8 March 2017.
Speech-Language Development with Hearing Loss. Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, 2013, http://www.chsc.org/Main/Speech-Language-Development-with-Hearing-Loss.aspx. Accessed 6 March 2017.