My child doesn’t talk:
did you take a hearing test?
If a child is having difficulty developing his language skills, the causes can be both cognitive (such as attention and memory) and physiological.
Hearing, for example, is crucial in the development of language, and its absence in the first years of life may cause it to be delayed.
Why is hearing so important?
The direct communication exchange between two people is usually made up of words, which are nothing more than sounds to which we have given meaning over time.
When a child does not have the opportunity to hear these sounds, they lose a lot of information that would have aided them in learning to speak.
The hearing loss can be pre-verbal (before the child speaks the first words), in which case the child will have difficulty acquiring language sounds, or post-verbal (after the child speaks the first few words), in which case the child will have difficulty maintaining sounds they had already learned, which will disappear.
How can I tell if my child has pre-verbal hearing loss?
Only 5% of the world’s 32 million children with more or less severe hearing loss are born in a family with deaf parents and thus have the opportunity to receive a diagnosis of deafness in the first months of life.
The remaining 95% are born in families with hearing parents. In this case, detecting a hearing loss is extremely difficult because deaf children go through the same language stages as hearing children in their first months of life.
Differences appear only at the time of the first vocalisations and words: hearing children will make a variety of sounds, including those that are difficult to distinguish by lip-reading (for example, K and G), whereas children with hearing difficulties will only make sounds visible through lip movement (such as B, P, M).
As a result, the first words may appear later than their peers.
If your child is not scared when he or she hears a loud sound, does not turn when called from behind, does not react when he or she hears music, and is ultimately late in producing the first words, a hearing test is recommended.
How can I tell if my child has post-verbal hearing loss?
Post-verbal hearing loss is also difficult to detect, especially because the child has received auditory stimuli prior to their first words and should be able to pronounce all sounds (even those not visible to the lip).
However, the child’s speech may recede and the sounds he used to utter may disappear as soon as the hearing loss occurs.
Some of these hearing losses may be caused by fluid buildup in the middle ear, which prevents the eardrum from vibrating and the sound from travelling.
Recurrent colds, ear infections, and enlarged adenoids could all contribute to this.
So if your child often has a cold, no longer utters the sounds they used to make and reacts only to some high sounds but not to the lowest ones, a hearing test is recommended.
I hope I have been helpful to you on the importance of hearing in language development.
If you have any questions, please contact me here!