Hearing Tests and Speech and Language Development

Hearing Tests and Speech and Language Development

A speech and language delay does not indicate hearing loss, but a hearing loss will affect speech and language development.

It is important to have hearing tests done on your child to proactively make sure a hearing loss is not present. It is especially important to have a hearing test completed if your child is experiencing a speech or language delay to rule out hearing loss as the cause.

But my child responds to me, so they obviously can hear me. Hearing happens at various frequencies and decibels and hearing loss can happen at any of those frequencies and decibels. Meaning hearing loss is not an all-or-nothing scenario.

Below is a diagram of the “Speech Banana” that shows what sounds are heard at what frequencies and decibels. You can see if a hearing loss was present at 4000 Hz we could still hear a variety of sounds but would have difficulty hearing /f/, /s/ and “th”.

https://ohns.ucsf.edu/audiology/education/peds

When should my child get their hearing tested?

  • At birth. Often this is completed in the hospital, if not connect with an audiologist to have your baby’s hearing screened.
  • If your child has frequent ear infections. Chronic ear infections can cause hearing loss in children.
  • Before your child starts school. To make sure no changes have happened since their infancy screen that could impact their ability to learn once entering school.
  • If your child is delayed in their speech and/or language development.

Hearing screens and tests can be completed by registered Audiologists in the province of Saskatchewan.

 

Written by: Jill Swenson, Speech Language Pathologist with Wildflowers

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