Four Ways Hearing Loss Affects Children

Many people experience hearing loss, for a wide variety of reasons, and at different times in their life.  However, while all cases are different, it is widely regarded that hearing is a crucial part of speech and language development, particularly in terms of communication and learning.

And because Audiologie Centre West hearing ability is so crucial to success in life—in so many ways—any type of hearing loss can have a dramatic effect on the way children learn.

How Hearing Loss Affects Children

Hearing loss can negatively affect children in the following ways, just to name a few:

  • Delay in receptive and expressive communication skill development (speech and language skills)
  • Interrupts and/or delays academic achievement and progress
  • Communication obstacles which can result in social isolation, which results in a poor sense of self
  • Can restrict or influence vocational choice

EFFECTS on VOCABULARY

In children with hearing loss, vocabulary develops more slowly as a result of not hearing language as much as children with normal-functioning hearing.  Also, children with hearing loss have trouble learning abstract words (like certain conjunctions and emotional terms) than simple, concrete words.  Finally, these children have trouble keeping up with their peers in school.

EFFECTS on GRAMMAR

Children who experience hearing loss at an early age also tend to produce shorter and simpler sentences when communicating.  Obviously this is because they have trouble understanding and forming these complex sentences (and particularly those with relative clauses or with passive voice. Finally, children with hearing loss can have trouble consonant word endings which contributes to confusion regarding verb tense, pluralization, and possessives, etc.

EFFECTS on SPEECH

It should not be too difficult to assess that the previous difficulties would eventually contribute to at least a few speech problems.  For example, children with hearing loss often do not hear quieter speech sounds (“s” or “sh” or “f”) and thus do not include them when they speak.  Sometimes they don’t hear their own voice when they speak and that can affect their volume, pitch, or inflection.

EFFECTS on ACADEMICS

Obviously, if a child has difficult with hearing and speech, they will have more troubles in school than the average student.  This means slower rate of comprehension in both reading and mathematics; and certain types of learning can hit a ceiling by the third grade.