speech hearing issues children

Speech & Hearing Issues in Children: FAQs

Language is the basis of communication. Speech and language skills are essential to many areas in a child’s life, from relationships to academic success. The ability to communicate, both with peers and adults, is essential for a child’s success.

Speech & Hearing Issues in Children: FAQs

Q: Do Speech & Language issues affect learning?

Reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking are all forms of language. Learning takes place through the process of communication. According to the American Speech, Hearing, & Language Association, there are four major ways in which speech & hearing issues affect children:

  1. It causes delay in the development of receptive and expressive communication skills (speech and language).
  2. The language deficit causes learning problems that result in reduced academic achievement.
  3. Communication difficulties often lead to social isolation and poor self-concept.
  4. It may have an impact on vocational choices.

Q: Do Speech & Language issues affect performance at school?

Children with speech & hearing issues, or communication disorders, frequently do not perform at their grade level. The most common struggles are displayed in reading, understanding and expressing language, understanding social cues, school attendance, using good judgment, and test taking.

Difficulty in learning to listen, speak, read, or write can result from problems in language development. Problems can occur in the production, comprehension, and awareness of language sounds, syllables, words, sentences, and conversation. Individuals with reading and writing problems also may have trouble using language to communicate, think, and learn.

Q: How do parents and school personnel work together work together to ensure a child gets the necessary speech-language support?

Any student who shows signs of speech & hearing issues or delay should be referred by parents or school personnel to their school-based child study team.

Screening, assessment, and treatment of communication problems may involve cooperative efforts with: parents, speech-language pathologists (SLPs), audiologists, psychologists, social workers, classroom teachers, special education teachers, guidance counselors, physicians, dentists, and nurses.

SLPs work with diagnostic and educational evaluation teams to provide comprehensive language and speech assessments for students.

Services to students with speech-language disorders may be provided in individual or small group sessions, in classrooms when teaming with teachers, or in a consultative model with teachers and parents. SLPs integrate students’ speech-language goals with academic outcomes and functional performance.

Q: How can I detect if my child could have hearing loss?

  • Do they seem to hear fine some of the time and then not respond at other times?
  • Do they want the TV volume louder than other members of the family?
  • Do they say “What?” or “I didn’t hear you” more often than normal? Don’t always assume they are not paying attention as it may be an indication of an unidentified hearing loss.
  • Do they move one ear forward when listening, or complain they can only hear out of a certain ear?
  • Has their grades fallen or has their teacher noted they do not seem to hear or respond as well in the classroom as other children?
  • Does it often seem as though your child is just not paying attention?
  • Has your child started to speak more loudly than previously?
  • Does your child look at you intensely when you speak to them, as if concentrating? They may be depending more on visual cues for interpreting speech.
  • Do you just have a feeling, but you can’t put your finger on what your concern is? Don’t let that stop you. Ask your doctor for a referral to ease your mind.

Q: What should I do after a hearing problem is noted?

After recognizing that a problem exists, a hearing evaluation is the next step. This evaluation should be performed by a licensed, certified clinical audiologist who specializes in evaluating and treating people with hearing loss, such as those at Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center. After the type and severity of hearing loss is identified, the audiologist will determine if the loss requires referral to a physician or can be managed with hearing aids.

Q: What kinds of speech and language disorders affect school age children?

Speech sound disorders – difficulty pronouncing sounds
Language disorders – difficulty understanding what they hear as well as expressing themselves with words
Cognitive-communication disorders – difficulty with thinking skills including perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect and imagination
Stuttering fluency disorders – interruption of the flow of speech that may include hesitations, repetitions, prolongations of sounds or words
Voice disorders – quality of voice that may include hoarseness, nasality, volume (too loud or soft)

Q: What can I do to prevent hearing loss in my child?

Learn about the causes of hearing loss in children, such as exposure to loud noise, trauma to the head or ear, and diseases that affect hearing in order to eliminate or minimize risk. Make sure to have their hearing regularly tested by an audiologist.

Hearing loss can affect people of all ages and in many different ways. Early detection and appropriate intervention are essential to avoid or minimize long-term disability and to enhance communication.

If you have further questions about our audiologists, services, events or volunteer opportunities, please reach out to us online or call (904) 355-3403‎.