Happy little asian girl on the playgroundThere are over 28 million Americans who have some form of hearing loss and at least 22.5 million who have never been treated. Of these 28 million, 90% have a hearing loss that is sensorineural in nature, where amplification is the only effective treatment in most of these cases.

Speech and language skills are essential to academic success and learning. Language is the basis for all forms of communication such as reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking. Since learning takes place through the process of communication, the ability to communicate with peers and adults in the educational setting is essential for a student to succeed in school.

Children with communication disorders frequently don’t perform at grade level. They may struggle with reading, have difficulty understanding and expressing language, misunderstand social cues, avoid attending school, show poor judgment, and have difficulty with tests.

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 may also have trouble using language to communicate, think, and learn.

Parents and teachers should refer any student who shows signs of a speech-language disorder or delay to the 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.

  • Speech sound disorders – difficulty pronouncing sounds
  • Language disorders – difficulty understanding what one hears as well as expressing oneself 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 issues of hoarseness, nasality, or volume (too loud or soft)

If you answer “yes” to many of the following questions, it may be time to consult an audiologist:

    • Do you have difficulty following conversations in a noisy environment?
    • Do you make statements like, “People mumble” or “People do not speak clearly?”
    • Do you have difficulty listening to the TV or radio?
    • Do you have difficulty understanding the speaker at your place of worship?
    • Do you hear better with one ear than the other?
    • Do your family and friends tell you that you’re not listening or hearing them well?
    • Do you avoid social gatherings because of hearing difficulties?
    • Do you experience ringing or noises in your ears?

After recognizing that a problem exists, a hearing evaluation is the next best step. This evaluation should be performed by a licensed, certified clinical audiologist who specializes in evaluating and treating people with hearing loss.  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.

There are ways that you can prevent hearing loss. Some causes of hearing loss, such as exposure to loud noise, trauma to the head or ear, and diseases that affect hearing, can be eliminated or minimized. Also, have your hearing regularly tested by an audiologist. Just as you take care of your eyes, you should monitor your hearing for any changes. 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.

To schedule a hearing screening today, please contact us at (904)355-3403 or via Contact Form.