Children's language development
Children learn to speak and develop language through regular exposure to sound by listening and talking with others. In order for children to develop spoken language, they must be able to hear speech clearly and also to hear themselves.
If your child has hearing loss, their basic language development may be delayed and as your child grows they can face challenges from infancy through the school years and beyond.
Should my child have a hearing test?
If your child is under the care of a speech and language therapist it is recommended that a hearing assessment is done prior to therapy and during as required.
If you are seeking therapy to improve your child’s speech and language development, it is important to exclude hearing loss contributing to your child’s difficulty to learn.
Hearing assessments in Australia
While most hearing losses are identified at birth following the hearing screening test, some hearing losses can still develop during childhood. In the rare chance your child does have a permanent hearing loss it is important to have it diagnosed and the appropriate devices (if any) given to be able to hear the speech sounds required to develop speech and language.
Additionally, transient middle ear hearing loss is very common in young children and toddlers. This often develops with ear infections and colds, however, what is known as glue ear can often go unnoticed for months at a time. When it is not picked up, the temporary hearing loss means your child needs voices raised in order to hear sounds around them. If they are doing speech pathology and have “blocked” ears, they may be missing out on key parts of the therapy and may impact their progress.
Benefits of children's hearing assessments
A hearing assessment can identify permanent and temporary hearing losses prior to your child starting therapy. If your child is not progressing with their speech and language this is also a reason to recheck their hearing in case middle ear disease is impacting their ability to hear sounds.
You can ask your GP to have audiology alongside speech pathology under the chronic disease management plan. Some private health care will also cover the cost of an assessment.
Speech Therapy and Hearing Tests on the Gold Coast
Coastal Audiology has teamed up with Queensland Paediatric Allied Health and My Therapy Space to offer a hearing assessment in conjunction with speech therapy/ under the same roof, so that parents can feel confident in their child’s capacity to participate with their full potential.