A news release from the Hear the World Foundation, supported by the Sonova group, has been widely picked up by the media worldwide in the past week. The release, headlined “When Children Learn to Speak: The Importance of Hearing,” emphasizes the need for early diagnosis and treatment of hearing impairment in children. It points out that, for young children, every day is a journey of discovery; using their five senses, they are continuously gaining impressions and constantly learning new things. If one of their sensory organs is damaged, this can have an adverse effect on their development as a whole, as is demonstrated particularly by the loss of the ability to hear.
“Only through hearing and imitating speech can children adapt their articulation, discover the meanings of words, and ultimately learn how to construct sentences,” explains Christine Jones, AuD, director of pediatric clinical research at Phonak. “Generally, a child with normal development will acquire a basic command of language by the age of 3 or 4.”
The news release also details some of the early warning signs of hearing loss, the devices available including hearing aids, wireless/FM systems, and cochlear implants, as well as tips for parents of children with hearing loss.