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Hearing and Speech Issues are Common in Children
Hearing and speech issues are quite common in children, and can manifest in a number of ways. Understandably, this ambiguity can be concerning for parents, especially with all of the unknowns.
But it’s important to remember that these issues are usually manageable and treatable, especially with early intervention. That’s why it’s vital for the parents of young children to be well-informed on hearing and speech issues so they know all of their options.
After all, language is the basis of communication. Speech and language skills are essential to many areas in a child’s life, from interpersonal relationships to academic success. The ability to communicate, both with peers and adults, is essential for a child’s success.
Hearing and Speech Issues in Children: FAQs
With that in mind, let’s answer some common questions that you may have about hearing and speech issues in children.
Q: Do hearing and speech issues affect learning?
Learning takes place through the process of communication. Reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking are all forms of language. If a child is unable to understand or respond to these “languages” appropriately, it could have a major impact on their future success both inside and outside of the classroom. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, there are four major ways in which hearing and speech issues affect children:
- It causes delays in the development of receptive and expressive communication skills (speech and language).
- The language deficit causes learning problems that result in reduced academic achievement.
- Communication difficulties often lead to social isolation and poor self-esteem.
- It may have an impact on vocational choices.
Q: Do hearing and speech issues affect performance at school?
Children with speech and 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, attending school regularly, 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 to ensure a child gets the necessary speech-language support?
Any student who shows signs of speech and hearing issues or delays should be referred by parents or school personnel to their school-based Child Study Team (CST). A Child Study Team is a group of educational and health care professionals who will work with you to identify your child’s learning needs and strategies to ensure his or her academic success.
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?
Some common signs of hearing loss in children may include:
- Hearing fine some of the time and then not responding at other times
- Wanting the TV volume louder than other members of the family
- Starting to speak more loudly than they have previously
- Saying “What?” or “I didn’t hear you” more often than normal
- Moving one ear forward when listening
- Complaining they can only hear out of a certain ear
- Falling grades or teacher observations that they don’t seem to hear or respond as well in the classroom as other children
- Appearing to not pay attention
- Looking at you intensely when you speak to them as though concentrating
These signs are just some of the many indicators that your child could have hearing loss. If you have noticed any of these signs or have additional concerns, ask your doctor for a referral.
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 the hearing loss is identified, the audiologist will determine if the loss requires referral to a specialized physician or can be managed with hearing aids.
Q: What kinds of speech and language disorders affect school-age children?
The most common speech and language disorders that affect school-age children include:
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 such as 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: Difficulty with 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?
You can 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. In addition, make sure to have their hearing regularly tested by an audiologist.
Hearing and speech issues can affect people of all ages and in many different ways. Early detection and appropriate intervention are essential to avoid or minimize long-term negative developmental effects and to enhance communication.
While this post was focused on hearing and speech issues in children, we also cover speech therapy for the elderly in this article.
Did you learn a lot from this article? Don’t miss these other posts on hearing and speech issues either:
- ADULT SPEECH DISORDERS AND HEARING LOSS
- HOW DOES HEARING LOSS AFFECT THE BODY?
- HOW ALLERGIES IMPACT HEARING
This article was originally published in 2017 and has been updated.
Pediatric speech therapy is important for the youth of Jacksonville. Children connect with each other through communication. When the ability to speak and hear is affected or does not exist, the isolation and long-term effects can be profound. This is especially true in children, as hearing, speaking and understanding spoken language is an essential component to their growth and development.
When Pediatric Speech and Hearing issues go untreated, disorders in hearing and speech/language develop. This causes problems both at home and at school by impacting the child’s ability to learn. Poor self-esteem and behavior problems can lead to a lifetime of isolation. As adults, untreated communication disorders make it difficult to hold a job and be a contributing member of the community.
Pediatric Speech Therapy Jacksonville, FL
Early childhood success depends on a strong base of language and speech. The Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center (JSHC) is a non-profit agency and one of very few agencies that provides Pediatric Speech Therapy to underprivileged children and families in our community. For the past sixty years, the JSHC has provided the highest quality professional care to anyone with hearing, speech and/or language disorders.
WATCH with CC: Learn about pediatric speech and hearing disorders from Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center President & CEO Mike Howland
Certified Autism Center in Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center is proud to be a Certified Autism Center in Jacksonville, FL specially trained to provide a high level of service to patients with autism and communication challenges.
A Certified Autism Center provides a patient-friendly environment that includes:
- no sensory overload
- patients ushered to quiet rooms
- treatment that is minimally disruptive to the patient
- communication with family members regarding diagnosis and treatment
- a focus on “yes” or “no” questions to patient
- allowing patients to see and touch materials
- a health care professional manner that is direct and factual
If you are looking for Pediatric Speech Therapy in Jacksonville, FL, please contact us TODAY to schedule an appointment at (904) 355-3403.
Everybody wants to make a difference. At Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center, we understand that everyone’s gift or what they are able to give is different. Some have more time, others have more money, some even have both! If you want to give the children in our community the ability to communicate free from stigma, find the options to give that work best for you.
Volunteering reflects the power of the human spirit and proves that by working together, we can build a better world. If you have extra time and are more of a hands on kind of person, our volunteer program is for you. Our volunteers come from all walks of life within the First Coast community. From public relations to administration, we have a need your time and experience can fill.
Learn more about our Volunteer program.
As the only non-profit agency in Northeast Florida accredited for both speech-language pathology and audiology services, we provide the highest quality, compassionate care through the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, and partnering organizations ensuring that no one is turned away. When you donate to JSHC, you help us provide these services to our community.
Learn more about how to Donate.
Did you know we are very active in the Jacksonville community? You can join us at a variety of events such as Health Fairs, Hearing Screenings, Fundraisers, and even Jaguars Games!
Learn more about when and where our next events are taking place.
Planned giving is a contribution arranged in the present and allocated at a future date, commonly donated through a will or trust.
Placing the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center in your will can insure increased access to services for our clients. Gift planning uses tax laws to enable you to pursue your philanthropic goals while minimizing your cost of giving and maximizing the benefits to yourself and your family.
Learn more about Planned Giving to Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center.
No matter how you give, the important thing is that you do! We appreciate all contributions, and know how even the smallest ones can make a difference. Keep in mind that not only will you feel good, your gift will make a positive difference in someone’s life.
If you have further questions about our audiologists, services, events or volunteer opportunities, please reach out to us online or call (904) 355-3403.
This year on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center will participate in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving.
Last year more than 700,000 people in over 70 countries participated in #GivingTuesday. Since it’s founding in 2012, #GivingTuesday has inspired giving around the world, resulting in greater donations, volunteer hours, and activities that bring about real change in communities.
We are thrilled to join the movement again this year and THANK YOU for supporting Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center. When you make a contribution to the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center, you are investing in lasting changes in our community. Reach into your heart and give a gift to help preschoolers be ready for kindergarten.
Help us help Northeast Florida’s children be ready for kindergarten able to communicate and free from stigma. When you give to the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center, you are investing in an effort to create lasting change in our community. Please consider a gift to help preschoolers be ready for kindergarten.
Your gift will fully support a child with communication disorder through his or her speech-language therapy program, an average of 22 intensive hour-long sessions.
Your gift will provide 15 children with hearing and speech language screenings.
Your gift will provide one child with a Diagnostic Speech-Language Evaluation.
Your gift will provide a child with one hour of intensive speech-language therapy.
Your gift will provide one child with a hearing and speech language screening.
You choose how much
No gift is too small, we appreciate your donation of any amount!
Trey, a Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center patient for over 20 years, shares his experience of growing up with hearing loss and explains how digital hearing aids have improved his social life and education.
Q: Trey shares his experience as a JSHC patient for 20+ years
Trey: My name is Trey and I am a client of the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center. I’ve been going there since I was 2 years old and I’m 26 years old now. I’ve gone through their speech therapy, I’ve gotten hearing aids from them and they are all excellent. I enjoy going there. Dr. Mattson, my current audiologist at the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center, is excellent. She actually had given me my most current set of hearing aids. They work excellent, the hearing aids I have now. With this (Bluetooth) I can answer the phone through that.
Q: Trey explains how hearing aid technology helped him as a student.
Trey: The first set of hearing aids I had were analog, and now the ones I have are digital. The digital ones seem to be a little bit better. Now, with these hearing aids, they actually have Bluetooth I can connect to my cellphone or a microphone. With the microphone, if I’m in school, the teacher or the instructor can wear the microphone, and it helps me to hear the instructor better. There is a device that I can connect to the TV so I can hear the TV better. If anyone has that type of hearing loss, it’s very helpful.
Q: Trey explains how speech therapy and hearing aids have improved his life.
Trey: When I first started going there I was going through speech therapy. It has really helped me out. Now I can hear better, I can speak better, and with the hearing aids they gave me, I can hear better. As the years went on, I can speak better. That really helped me out quite a bit.
Q: A father shares his thoughts on parenting a child with hearing loss.
Trey’s Father: Trey has been going to the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center since he was 2 years old. A lot of you may be asking why we decided to take him to speech and hearing. We noticed in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, there was not a lot of attentiveness. He wasn’t paying attention and even though we would speak to him, he wouldn’t respond. We decided to go on and have his hearing tested.
Obviously as a parent what you need to do is watch your child, make sure that when you are speaking to them they are actually responding to you, and they are responding not only with their eyes, but with their ears. They are turning and those kinds of things.
It is not a stigmatism to take your child to get hearing aids, it’s no different than taking them to get glasses. You need to pay attention to your child at an early age to make sure they get the attention and the help they need early on because it not only affects their hearing, it affects their speech. Their speech, obviously, is everything to them, especially when they get older, With Trey, we just noticed it early on and as a parent, you need to stay focused on your child.
Q: How having hearing tests and services on-site under one building provides convenience.
Trey: That is very helpful to me because that way I don’t have to drive to multiple places to get the testing done. They have their own closed booth for hearing tests and that is very helpful to me because I don’t like having to go all over town just to get that done.
Q: What digital hearing aid technology is important.
Trey: With digital technology, they can take the hearing aid and connect them to the computer to fine tune the hearing aids to match someone’s hearing loss a lot better than the analog ones. The analog ones take a lot of work to fine tune them but with the digital ones, it is a lot faster, better, and more accurate.
Q: Young people and hearing aids.
Trey: If someone has hearing aids, it is good to always be positive and not let other people bother you. Having hearing aids is just like having glasses. People wear glasses, some wear hearing aids, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Q: Having your ear mold and technicians on-site at JSHC provides convenience.
Trey: It is always good to have a technician right there at the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center because then you don’t have to go all over town to have it done. You don’t necessarily need to see your audiologist for your ear mold, but since there is always a technician available at the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center, if there is something wrong with the ear mold or the tubing, you can just have them fix it, sometimes in just 15 minutes.
If you have further questions about our audiologists, services, events or volunteer opportunities, please reach out to us online or call (904) 355-3403. If you would like to WATCH Trey’s interview, visit our YouTube channel.
Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center wants to remind Jacksonville residents that communication disorders are treatable by raising awareness that May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Founded in 1949, Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center provides speech pathology and audiology evaluations and treatments including hearing aid fittings for children, adults and seniors from its office at 1128 N. Laura St.
Better Hearing and Speech Month
“Our staff of seasoned professionals has decades of experience in the areas of speech pathology and audiology,” said Mike Howland, President and CEO of Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center. “We work with everyone whether they have insurance or not to provide quality, affordable care.”
Hearing loss can affect children and adults.
Signs for parents to watch for with a child’s hearing loss is:
- lack of attention to sounds,
- does not follow simple directions,
- delays in speech and language development,
- and pulls or scratches his/her ears.
In adults, hearing loss signs can include:
- buzzing or ringing in ears,
- muffled hearing,
- increasing the volume on the television or radio,
- constant frustration hearing speech and other sounds.
Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center offers a variety of hearing aids including in the canal and behind the ear. Unlike many hearing aid centers, Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center works with a number of hearing aid manufacturers including Widex, Oticon, Siemens, Resound, Phonax and Unitron. This feature insures that the patient receives the type of hearing aid that will best help their particular hearing loss.
“Over 40 million Americans experience some kind of hearing loss,” said Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center audiologist Dr. Fenja Mattson. “Research has shown that addressing hearing loss can positively impact all aspects of a person’s life – personally, professionally and financially. I know we make it possible for people to continue to participate in the work force by wearing hearing aids.”
On the speech pathology side of the Center’s work, speech pathologists work with children and adults evaluating and treating language skills. Failure to assist children who have trouble with developing vocabulary or auditory processing can lead to problems in school. Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center can also work with children who are on the autism spectrum to help them improve their speech and adults who may have suffered speech impairment due to stroke.
“We have identified through pre-kindergarten screenings several preschoolers who have difficulty with articulation or stuttering disorders,” said Dorothy Train-Marsh, Speech Pathologist at Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center. “These youngsters have now successfully exited the program with age appropriate skills that will give them a solid foundation for school.”
As part of its celebration of Better Hearing and Speech Month, Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center hosts the annual FinFest event at Timaquana Country Club. This event uses an island/beach theme to raise funds and awareness for patients of the Center who cannot afford treatment.
The Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center, through grants funded by The Chartrand Family Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, The Florida Blue Foundation and Medtronic has completed the screening of 2385 children ages 2 – 5 and provided 1765 speech and language therapy sessions to 79 children who were identified as at risk for communications disorders. The announcement was made by Mike Howland, President and CEO of the nonprofit.
The purpose of the grants was to provide speech-language pathology screenings, evaluations, and therapy to underserved and under/uninsured pre-kindergarten children located at daycare centers and preschools throughout Duval County. It is vital to catch and treat speech and hearing disorders at an early age so children will not fall behind in school.
“Young children with speech and language disorders are at increased risk for difficulty with academic performance later in life,” said Dorothy Train-Marsh, a speech pathologist at Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center. “Speech sound production is key to letter-sound relationships necessary for reading and writing.”
Parents should note the number of words their child uses by pre-kindergarten as well as the ability to string together four to five words in a sentence. Certain phonological sounds such as saying the letter “v” or “f” should be present around the age of three.
Screenings were provided by ASHA Certified Speech-Language pathologists at over 75 Duval County preschools. Evaluations and therapy were provided to children with Medicaid, uninsured children and underinsured children at more than 35 preschools in Duval County.
“We are grateful to our grantors for helping us to provide this much needed service,” said Howland. “The Chartrand Foundation, Florida Blue Foundation and Medtronic understand that children need to be ready to learn and communication skills are an important skill set for school.”
The Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center was founded in 1949 by the Junior League of Jacksonville. Today this nonprofit, located at 1128 N. Laura St., serves children, adults and seniors providing screenings, evaluations and treatments in the areas of speech pathology and audiology. Most major insurances are accepted.
An Interview with Mike Howland, CEO
Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center
What are the main causes of speech and language disorders in children?
Speech and Language disorders may be the result of a variety of etiologies and many disorders have no clear cause but they may include:
- a motor speech disorder (Apraxia),
- a physical/ structural cause (cleft palate, overbite, short frenulum),
- be a symptom of a syndrome (Down syndrome, Fragile X),
- a neurological problem (Cerebral Palsy),
- a traumatic event (traumatic brain injury, lack of oxygen at birth),
- a sensory deficiency (hearing impairment),
- Auditory Processing Disorders,
- intellectual disability,
- developmental delay,
- language based learning disability,
- environmental deprivation.
In short, there are hundreds of possible causes that can facilitate the need for speech and/or language therapy.
What is the first step I should take if I notice my child’s speech is delayed?
Speak with your Primary Care Doctor about getting a referral for a Hearing Test, if one has not already been completed, as well as a referral for a Speech & Language Evaluation.
How can I tell if my child’s speech and language is on track?
There are expected language behaviors for different ages. For example, by 1 year of age, a child should use one or two words, follow simple requests (ie. “Come here”), and understand simple questions (ie. “Where are your shoes?”). By 2-3 years of age, the child should be using two or three words sentences to talk about and ask for things and following two requests (ie. “Get the ball and put it on the table”). Parents should also understand the child’s speech most of the time. Children are individuals and do develop at slower or faster rates than expected. What is most important is that the child shows continuous language growth.
For more detailed look at the developmental milestones at each age refer to www.asha.org for the following:
- ASHA’s publication “How Does Your Child Hear and Talk?” offers guidelines for Speech and Language Development from Birth to Five Years. This can be found on their website http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/chart/.
- ASHA’s Brochure “Identify the Signs of Communication Disorders” can also be found at http://identifythesigns.org.
What is the difference between a speech disorder and language impairment?
When a person is unable to articulate or produce speech sounds correctly or fluently (ability to speak without stuttering), or has problems with his or her voice (e.g., hoarseness, vocal nodules), then he or she has a speech disorder.
When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), or interacting and having appropriate social skills with others (pragmatics), then he or she has a language disorder. Both children and adults can have speech and language disorders. They can occur as a result of a medical problem or have no known cause.
How can I help my child with a hearing problem cope at school?
Federal law allows students with hearing loss to have a free and appropriate public education alongside non–disabled students, to the extent possible, up to 12th grade. Even though a child may have a hearing aid or cochlear implant they will probably still need assistive technology, modified acoustics, and accessible teaching strategies to participate fully in noisy classrooms. In post-secondary institutions students must advocate for accessibility through the school administration. Many schools have disabled student offices that can coordinate accessibility requests.
Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center1010 N Davis St Ste 101 Jacksonville, Florida 32209
Fax: (904) 355-4149
Jacksonville Speech & Hearing is a 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax deductible. EIN 59-0970718.