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How Hearing Loss Impacts Cognitive Development

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 11:45:44 AM Australia/Melbourne

How Hearing Loss Impacts Cognitive DevelopmentWe all grew up learning about our five senses—hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling and tasting. But it’s sometimes still eye-opening to learn how dependent they are on each other, as well as your general brain development. Hearing in particular has a great impact on cognitive development- specifically your speech and language learning skills. This means that when you suffer from hearing loss, your speech and language learning skills are also affected. Audiology experts, general doctors and scientists continue to uncover new and exciting updates in the field.


Hearing loss can occur at any stage of a child’s life, but the earlier it occurs, the more serious the effects can be on the child’s cognitive development. Conversely, when it’s identified at an early stage, there is much greater opportunity to save remaining hearing and train the child to use the skills that he or she has.


Doctors and audiologists have noticed four major ways that hearing loss can affect the development of children:


1)      Delay in the development of speech and language

2)      A prolonged language deficit which impacts achievements in school

3)      Difficulties communicating in social environments, which can frequently lead to lack of self-esteem and potential personal isolation

4)      Long-term vocational choices


These are four pretty big buckets, but they’re important warning signs to be aware of.


Looking for specifics? Here are six to keep an eye out for:


  • Your child has no problem learning basic words like red, five, jump, and cat, but he or she has a much harder time with longer words like jealous or after. Function words, like an, are and the are also a challenge.
  • Your child speaks in short and simple sentences, avoiding longer thoughts and complex words.
  • Children impacted also have difficulty with words that have multiple meanings.
  • Your child drops the end of the word, like –ed or –s. When untreated, this can quickly escalate to misuse of different tenses, and potential misunderstandings in conversations.
  • Speaking can be a specific challenge, as children impacted don’t hear their own voices when speaking. This can manifest through communicating at both extra loud volumes and muted volumes. Mumbling is also a common side effect.
  • Hearing loss doesn’t just impact the Language Arts classes at school. Those with hearing loss generally struggle with math and science classes as well. It’s important to note that the gap between those with hearing loss and those without will only broaden with age, if untreated.


Luckily, there are things that you can do. If you notice any of the above signs in your child, there are services available which will help to properly develop language-skills. When in doubt, Hearlink recommends that you reach out to your child’s general doctor. They can perform the basic tests which may indicate hearing loss, and recommend you to a qualified audiologist as applicable.


Questions? Comments? Feel free to give us a shout. Check out many more tips and tricks to maximize your hearing abilities, on the Hearlink blog.

Posted in Industry News By

Hearlink Admin