What can be done for the hearing impaired child

What can be done for the hearing impaired child

The most important thing about a hearing impairment is that it interferes with the child’s ability to communicate normally.  When he feels excited or angry or worried he cannot tell you about it. He cannot explain himself to you and he cannot understand what you say to him. He is a prisoner in his own head and he needs help getting out.

Teamwork will be necessary to free him. This calls for good cooperation between the pediatrician; the otologist, who specializes in ear, nose and throat problems; the clinical audiologist, who tests hearing; the psychologist, who tests learning ability;  specially trained teachers, and most important, you, the parent.

You are the person who spends the most time with a young child and you are the person to whom the child goes for understanding, sympathy, and help.

A hearing test will tell you not only how well, but also in what manner the child hears. Most speech sounds range from 250 to 8000 cps. Before you can help a hearing-impaired child you need to know whether he is deaf to all of this range, or only part of it.

What can be done for the hearing impaired child : Learn More About Hearing Loss in Children, Hearing Problems & Loss: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments.

What can be done for the hearing impaired child

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A medical examination will tell you whether surgery or drugs can be expected to relieve the problem.

Therapy should begin as early as possible.  The needs of each child differ, but in general the period between 18 and 30 months of age seems to be the best time to start.  Since children learn language most easily and eagerly from this period until the time they are five, waiting until they are six and seven before seeking help is foolhardy.

Most handicapped children possess some degree of hearing which they can be taught to use more efficiently. They will need special training to sharpen their listening skills. They will need practice in lipreading, in making speech sounds, in controlling their breath pressure and rhythm, their tone of voice and its volume.

They will need help in understanding language principles. Instead of learning speech easily, the hearing-impaired child may require , weeks to learn to understand and pronounce a single word. It is very difficult for him to understand past tense and future tense, the difference between “I bought you some candy today” and “I will buy you some candy tomorrow.” Secondary meanings are another challenge.

He learns that a plane flies and birds fly, but how hard it is for him to understand what you mean when you say “time flies” or “that’s a fly ball.” How hard it is for him to learn the words for things he cannot see around him, concepts like “hour”, “glacier”, “continent”, “silly”, “noble”, “worried”. This is why he needs special teaching, and special understanding.

The 20th Century has given the hearing-impaired child a wonderful gift: the hearing aid. This small, wearable device ,works like a miniature loudspeaker system.  It converts sound into electrical energy, amplifies it, and converts It back to sound again. Before the invention of the hearing aid the moderately deaf child was not much better of than the child with no hearing at all.  Now hearing aids can help most children with even a slight degree of hearing to learn to speak.

An aid can help a moderately-impaired child to hear almost normally. It can serve the severely-impaired child by alerting him to sound, telling him that something is going on, like a door closing, or that something is being said, so that he can concentrate all his skills on understanding.

Effective as the hearing aid is, it can never enable a child to hear as if he had perfectly normal ears.  Sound through a hearing aid appears somewhat tinny and distorted. It’s like trying to hear a symphony orchestra through a telephone receiver. Hearing aids don’t amplify all sounds equally. They work best for sounds in the range of frequencies used

What can be done for the hearing impaired child Article Source :  Learning to talk by National Inst. of Health Bethesda ,Md,  document

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