04-30-2012 (Dayton, OH) -
May is national speech and hearing month. Dayton Children’s wants to raise awareness about communication disorders and to promote treatment that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding, or hearing. Taking a day this month to make sure your child sees an audiologist for a hearing screening and being aware of the possible speech disorders can help protect your child.
Speech and language skills are essential to academic success and learning. Learning takes place through the process of communication and the ability to communicate with peers and adults in the educational setting is important in order to achieve success. If your child is experiencing problems with reading, writing, gesturing, listening, or speaking at school, they could be suffering from a speech-language disorder. Some examples of these disorders include:
- Speech sound disorders- (difficulty pronouncing sounds)
- Language disorders- (difficulty understanding what they hear as well as expressing themselves with words)
- Cognitive-communication disorders- (difficulty with thinking skills including perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect and imagination)
- Stuttering (fluency) disorders- (interruption of the flow of speech that may include hesitations, repetitions, prolongations of sounds or words)
- Voice disorders- (quality of voice that may include hoarseness, nasality, volume (too loud or soft)
Children are not too young to suffer from hearing loss; however, it is often overlooked by parents. Thirty-six million Americans have hearing loss and over half of these 36 million are under the age of 65. If you or your child is experiencing ringingin the ear, pain, or even muffled hearing it is best to consult your local audiologist. This professional will be able to determine your degree of hearing loss and determine the best treatment. Because most hearing lost is permanent, the audiologist may have other solution alternatives such as hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and hearing rehabilitation.
PREVENTION: Hearing loss can occur during aging; however, noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) can be prevented and it is important to know how to do so. Important tips to remember are as followed:
- Limit your child’s exposure to loud noise
- Don’t allow your child to put cotton swabs or any other object in their ears
- Don’t buy noisy appliances, equipment or toys
- Help your child understand how hearing works and how it can be damaged
- Make sure your child’s iPod volume isn’t loud enough for you or a friend to hear
- Encourage your teen to wear ear protection if helping out with lawn mowing
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “47 percent of teens say they are not concerned about hearing loss from use of personal audio technology.”
One in every three Americans lose their hearing due to loud noise, which results in NIHL. This damages hair cells in the inner ear that will never grow back, permanently damaging your hearing. Some of these tips may be obvious, but they may save you or your child’s hearing. Often we do not realize the risk we are at in places such as our workplace, recreational setting, or even home. Even if it’s just using an iPod, mp3 device, video game, music, or television, your child or teenagers health could be damaged. Besides protecting the ears, being aware of the possible communication disorders your child can experience can prevent or treat a problem before it exists.
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