Around 2 to3 children out of a thousand are born with hearing loss. Some develop hearing loss in early childhood due to sickness or injury. In many cases, there can be a link between early hearing loss and learning disabilities.
The Connection between Hearing Loss and Learning Disabilities
Hearing loss has a strong negative impact on a child’s cognitive development. This manifests in many ways.
- Children with hearing loss have smaller vocabularies. They may also have trouble expressing themselves.
- Their verbal skills develop more slowly. Reading is more difficult for them as well.
- These children usually have problems in all areas of academic achievement, even mathematics. After all, they can have difficulty understanding abstract concepts.
- Social development is just as important as academic success at this age. But children with hearing loss may find it very difficult to connect with their peers.
So which learning disabilities are connected with hearing loss? In many cases, it is difficult to draw the line between the effects of hearing loss and learning disabilities. Hearing loss can be mistaken for a learning disability or vice versa.
Auditory Processing Disorder is a common example. This learning disability manifests almost exactly like hearing loss. It causes difficulty in processing speech, even though it does not actually decrease sensitivity to sound.
However, precise diagnoses are important. More information allows medical professionals and teachers to find the best ways to help.
What Can Parents Do?
Parents should learn all they can about hearing loss and learning disabilities. It is crucial to recognize these disorders in time.
In many cases, direct parental attention can help improve a young child’s cognitive abilities. But seeking out expert advice is a very good idea. After all, their insights can help improve communication between parent and child.