IS AN AUDIOLOGIST?
is the health professional who specializes in the assessment and
management of hearing loss and related problems, such as auditory
processing, tinnitus (noises in the ears) and vertigo (balance).
Through the variety of tests audiologists determine the exact nature
of an individual's
difficulty, and can advise people on appropraite options for management
including hearing aids, assistive listening devices, aural rehabilitation
LOSS IN CHILDREN
1 of every 1,000 children is born with a profound hearing loss
and many other children are born with less severe degrees
of hearing impairment. Others develop hearing impairment during
childhood. Such hearing losses interfere with the development of
speech and language skills and can have a negative effect on social,
emotional, cognitive and academic development. Moreover delayed
identification and management of severe to profound hearing impairment
may impede the child's ability to adapt to life in a hearing world.
The first 3
years of life are regarded as the crucial period for speech and
language development. Currently, although there are several methods
for identifiying hearing loss within the first year of life, the
average age of identification remains close to 3 years. Lesser
degrees of hearing loss may go undetected for longer.
has shown that children with normal cognitive skills identified
before 6 months of age of develop language skills normally. Hearing
screening can be done at any age, even as early as just after birth.
Children should routinely have their hearing tested before they
start school. Lesser degrees of hearing loss or hearing loss in
one ear may be determined this way. Such deficits, although not
obvious, may negatively affect speech and language development.
If you suspect your child is not hearing normally, even if your
child's doctor is not concerned, have your child's hearing tested
by an audiologist and when appropriate, have his or her speech evaluated
by a speech and language pathologist.
The early identification
of a hearing loss has significant positive benefits in terms of
facilitating speech and language development.