The 3 biggest myths that parents must know about their child’s hearing

Does your child have a delay in their talking or pronunciation?  Then you need to read on to make sure that you’re getting them the right help.


Your child’s ability to hear well is absolutely essential for them to develop age appropriate speech and language skills


Without adequate hearing levels your child will fall behind in their talking, their speech will be unclear and they may experience social isolation and behavioural challenges.

Every day we see children with delays in their communication and social skills and behavioural challenges.  One of the most important thing parents must do when their child is having these difficulties is to get their hearing checked.  Now many parents ask us why this needs to happen. The following three myths are the most common ones parents believe that make them question why a hearing test is needed.


Myth #1 They had their hearing checked at birth and it was fine

Granted, the screening that children in Australia have at birth is a fantastic initiative for identifying early the 1 in 1000 children who have are born with a hearing loss.  The problem is children’s hearing can change over time.  They can get fluid in their middle ear that can affect their hearing.  They can have a progressive hearing loss that leads to their hearing deteriorating over time. By the time children are at school 3 in 1000 children will have a hearing loss. That’s a big jump in numbers from birth!


Myth #2 They hear when the TV’s turned on in another room

Children with milder hearing losses will hear sounds around them.  They’ll hear a bunch of speech sounds too.  These children are the ones who sometimes “go under the radar” because they will follow your instructions, they might answer your questions.  But they don’t hear the sounds with the same quality as a person with typical hearing levels.  And as they get older, difficulties will emerge.  Their speech will be unclear and they will have trouble listening and understanding language in more complex listening environments where distance and noise is involved, such as, a classroom.


Myth #3 There’s no history of hearing loss in my family

A family history of hearing loss is definitely a risk factor for a child having a hearing loss.  But did you know 9 out of 10 children born with a hearing loss have parents with no hearing loss?  There are a wide range of causes of hearing loss and only around 40-50% of congenital sensorineural hearing loss (hearing loss present at birth and affecting the inner ear) can be attributed to genetics.  This means there are plenty of families with no history of hearing loss who have children with a hearing loss.


So, if your child is having trouble learning to use words to communicate or their speech is hard to understand it is important to seek help from the right health professionals.  You need to find a qualified, passionate Speech Pathologist who will be able to assess your child’s strength and areas for improvement.  And if your child does have a delay in their talking or pronunciation they should be recommending a hearing test. If they don’t, find another Speech Pathologist.

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