Many parents ponder whether they should let their kids start wearing hearings aids early, during the first signs of mild hearing loss or hearing difficulty, or if they should wait. The argument that hearing aids in mild loss cases makes a child dependent on the device is losing because of new studies that point out children with hearing aids actually develop better speech and language skills.
Basic Details of the Study
The study showed that kids wearing hearing aids early were more likely to develop better skills in speech and language. The results showed that the improvements become more noticeable and more significant if the child wears the hearing aid longer.
This is why the best case scenario involved kids who have worn their hearing aids since they were toddlers.
All of this comes from a recent study conducted at the Center for Childhood Deafness, located at the Boys Town National Research Hospital (Omaha, Nebraska). The study surveyed the speech skills of 180 3-year old and 5-year old patients with hearing loss conditions.
The patients were all evaluated according to their speech skills, articulation, and language comprehension. Scores improved when the researchers reached the children that have worn their hearing aids since they were toddlers.
Implications of the Study
It is also important to note that hearing aids that gave the most amplification and simulation of regular hearing were the ones that gave the most benefits. When the hearing aids were toned down, children in the study were not as keen on grasping new words because they could not properly hear how the words were pronounced and articulated.
A child’s capability to hear greatly affects how they form words in their mouths, how they move their tongue, and how they perceive the pronunciation of certain words.
This is all partly due to the fact that language and communication are crucial parts for a young child’s development. Not only is their IQ affected but also affected is their EQ (emotional quotient) and their capability to learn.
It Is Never Too Early or Too Late
Researchers also pointed out that it is not too late for kids to “catch up”. If you’re a parent with a child suffering from very mild hearing loss and never had to wear hearing aids you can still benefit from the technology if you go to a specialist today.
If your child is starting to experience hearing loss then don’t wait for the condition to get worse. Getting a hearing aids prescription early will help your child adjust as well as maintain their ongoing capability to learn and speak properly. Hearing aids are helpful for those with serious conditions but the new study does prove that it is never too early to give these devices a try.
If you think your kids needs a hearing aid, make sure to get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.
HK Hearing & Speech Centre
Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,
and Hearing Aid Prescription