Childhood hearing loss can have a significant impact on speech and language development. However, detecting the loss early and seeking speech and language therapy can head problems off before they start. Studies have found that infants who are identified with a hearing loss by 6 months old can be expected to attain language development on a par with hearing peers. Last week, we talked about three of the ways a child with hearing loss can benefit from speech therapy. Today, we wrap up Part 2 with three more ways a speech-language pathologist can help a child with hearing loss communicate to the best of their ability.
Language Development: Because hearing loss decreases the quality of a child’s exposure to speech and language, language development can lag behind if not addressed. A speech-language pathologist can help pinpoint a child’s particular strengths and challenges, and work on the development of language skills such as vocabulary, grammatical rules, social uses of language and more.
Improving Communication through Visual Cues: Children with hearing impairment can learn to use a range of visual cues to help them better understand the communication of others. This can involve using a speaker’s mouth movements to help distinguish between different sounds. It can also include interpreting non-verbal visual cues to increase comprehension, like facial expressions, gesture, and body language.
Optimizing Communication: Hearing loss often necessitates the coordination of a range of skills and techniques to establish the most effective communication possible. A speech-language pathologist can help a child with hearing impairment develop and manage those skills. This can include handling and repairing communication breakdowns, navigating multiple forms of communication (e.g., auditory-oral, sign language, cued speech, etc.), and managing amplification devices.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give us a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.
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