Early intervention for children

Learn why it's important to treat your child's hearing loss as soon as possible.

What you’ll find on this page

  • The link between hearing and brain development.
  • Why treating hearing loss early helps children to develop.
  • Advice from parents who acted early.

If your child has hearing loss, getting treatment sooner rather than later may have many benefits — from laying the foundation for fundamental language, allowing them to develop social skills and to help them succeed in school.

Why treating hearing loss in children early is important

As a parent, you always want the best for your child. Hearing plays a huge part in their emotional, social and intellectual development.

Early treatment may put your child's hearing progress on par with their hearing peers — giving them equal opportunity to excel in life.1,2

The power of language

Babies and children learn to talk by listening to their parents and the world around them. When infants babble, it's part of their language development; they're experimenting with communication and mimicking the words they hear.

Hearing is critical to their language development, which affects how they interact with others and how they perform at school.

The earlier you treat hearing loss, the better chance your child will have to develop language equivalent to a normal-hearing child. Children who received cochlear implants at six months old displayed stronger language skills compared to those treated when they were two years old.3

"Nothing is more important to the developing brain than providing timely access to treatment to eligible children at a time their brains are in a plastic state."

- Professor Graeme Clark, pioneer of cochlear implant research

Hearing at school

Treating your child's hearing loss early may help them thrive at mainstream schools alongside their peers.

Benefits may include:

  • keeping up with other children

  • better communication with teachers and classmates

  • building confidence and self-esteem

  • possibly making new friends more easily.

Your hearing health professional will recommend the best options to treat your child's hearing loss. They can also point you to support groups and resources to help you and your family.

Newborn Hearing Screening Test in Australia:

Learn more about newborn hearing screening in your state or territory.

Newborn Hearing Screening in New Zealand:

Learn more about newborn hearing screening.

Other Useful Resources:

Find a hearing health specialist near you

There are no clinics close to you.

You can search for clinics in a different location, or contact Cochlear to understand what the next steps for you would be.

Disclaimer

Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.

Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your health professional to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.

For a full list of Cochlear’s trademarks, please visit our Terms of Use page.

Any testimonial featured on this website is intended for an Australian audience only.

References

  1. Effects of Hearing Loss on Development. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) [Internet]. 2013 [Cited 2013 July]. Available from ASHA.
  2. Sharma A, Gilley P, Martin K, Roland P, Bauer P, Dorman M. (2007). Simultaneous versus sequential bilateral implantation in young children: Effects on central auditory system development and plasticity. Audiological Medicine, 5(4), 218-223.
  3. Ching T, Dillon H, Button L, Seeto M, Van Buynder P, Marnane V et al. Age at Intervention for Permanent Hearing Loss and 5-Year Language Outcomes. Pediatrics. 2017;140(3):e20164274.