Importance of early treatment
Act early and discuss all your options with a health professional.
Discovering your child has hearing loss
All parents want their child to be able to develop to their full potential. So if you’ve just discovered your child is deaf or has hearing loss, it can feel devastating. But the good news is a diagnosis of deafness isn’t a life-sentence. With the right treatment early in life, most children with hearing loss will hear again and grow up normally. Even those who are profoundly deaf can join the hearing world – attending mainstream schools, reading and speaking like their peers, talking on the phone and enjoying music.
Why every moment matters
Early intervention is the most important thing you can do for your child. Hearing is crucial to the development of your child’s vital speech and language skills. Even minimal hearing loss can lead to learning and behavioural problems that can limit your child –both throughout school and beyond. The sooner your child can hear and use spoken language, the more likely they can overcome the disadvantages of hearing loss to realise their full academic and social potential. Research shows that children who are fit with appropriate amplification before six months old can develop language skills on a par with their hearing peers1. Older children don’t have the same opportunity to catch up2-5.
Getting all the information
We know you’re making incredibly important decisions about your child’s future. That’s why you should have all the information you need to make the right choice for you and your family. Discuss all the options with your child’s audiologist or health professional, who will have the best understanding of their unique hearing needs. If you don’t already have someone to speak to, we can help you find a clinic close by. You might also find it helpful to speak to other parents who have been in your situation, and who can share their first-hand experiences.
- American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA)[online] Available from URL: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/treatment/child_aids.htm
- Hammes DM, Novak MA, Rotz LA, Willis M, Edmondson DM, Thomas JF. Early identification and the cochlear implant: Critical factors for spoken language development. Ann Otol Rhino Laryngol 2002;111:74-78.
- Nicholas JG, Geers AE. Will they catch up? The role of age at cochlear implantation in the spoken language development of children with severe to profound hearing loss. J Speech Lang Hear Res 2007;50:1048-1062.
- Nicholas JG, Geers AE. Expected test scores for preschoolers with a cochlear implant who use spoken language. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 2008;17:121-138.
- Robbins AM, Osberger MJ, Miyamoto RT, Kessler KS. Language development in young children with cochlear implants. Adv Otorhinolaryngol 1995;50:160-166.