Hearing Issues May Affect Reading Skills

Hearing loss is nothing to ignore, as many of us know. Hearing loss affects our lives in so many ways; physically, emotionally, socially and psychologically. When we avoid addressing the root of our hearing loss, we risk some serious issues that can cause us to live our life less than to the fullest. Research from the University of Southampton has recently shown that deaf teenagers have better reading skills if they were identified as deaf by the time they were nine months old. Early diagnosis and intervention in babies and children will give them a chance at having a quality education and stronger reading skills.

The article published by Science Daily describes a group of children who were identified with permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) at a very early age. The aforementioned research team has been studying the developments  from follow up assessments when the children were aged eight that showed those who were screened at birth had better language skills than those children who were not screened.

The same study is discussed in Health Day who agrees that deaf teens have stronger language and reading skills if their hearing problems were detected at an early age. The children at age 8 who were screened by the time they were 9 months old had better language and reading skills than deaf children who weren’t screened as infants. This new study assessed the children at age 17, and found the gap in language and reading skills between the screened and unscreened groups had doubled since age 8! That is a huge learning gap and could negatively impact the future of the child.

Early intervention is obviously the key to children with hearing loss and its impact on reading skills. The formative years of youth are essential to learning to read, communicate and speak. We wonder how many teens could have been diagnosed much earlier and would have had a better chance at success when it came to development and reading skills since there has been a proven impact. When it comes to early testing or hearing assessment, our audiologists are ready to help. We can assess, monitor or treat many hearing impairments and provide methods for coping with these issues as an individual and as a family. Research proves that competency in reading is based on competency in language and those children who have language delays  as a result of hearing loss are at risk for serious reading deficiencies. Whether your child could benefit from hearing aids or other hearing technology, we are here for you.

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